Foods to Avoid

While you are wearing braces, please avoid eating hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar. Hard foods can break or damage the wires and brackets, and sticky foods can get caught between the wires and brackets. Minimize the amount of sugary foods you eat; the sugar can cause tooth decay and other related problems.

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie
  • Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst

Minimize Sugary Foods like:

  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Only Once a Day:

  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar

We encourage patients to quit bad habits, such as fingernail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects. All of these activities can break or damage your braces.

It’s important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. If you have a loose/broken wire or bracket, please call our office immediately to arrange a repair appointment.

Brushing & Flossing with Braces

You know how important it is to brush and floss properly when you’re wearing braces — but what’s the best way to do that? Let’s start with the basic brushing tools: Either a soft-bristle brush or a bi-level brush (one that has shorter bristles in the middle and longer bristles at the edges) can be effective. Used carefully, an electric toothbrush can work just as well. But be sure the electric brush is set to a moderate power level, and don’t let its vibrations cause the back of the brush to hit the braces!

You should brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least two times per day (preferably after meals), for at least two minutes each time. Remember to brush all the tooth surfaces: the outside, the inside, and the chewing surfaces as well. Be especially careful to clean the areas between wires and teeth, and between brackets and gums — that’s where food particles can easily become trapped.

Here’s a suggested brushing technique: Beginning at the outside surfaces, place the tips of the bristles flat against your teeth, and use small circular motions to gently polish them clean. For areas between braces and gums, tilt the brush toward the gum line (down for the bottom teeth, up for the top) while keeping up the circular motions. Next, move on to the chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth, using a firm back-and-forth motion. Finally, finish up by carefully brushing the inside surfaces of the teeth the same way you did the outside surfaces.

Special Brushing Tools

If you’re having trouble cleaning the areas near brackets and wires, there are some special tools that may help. One is the interdental toothbrush, or proxabrush. It has a small tuft of bristles that stick up all around, like a pipe cleaner. Use it gently and carefully to clean the tiny spaces under wires and around bands and brackets.

Another special cleaning tool is the oral irrigator or “water pick.” This device shoots a small stream of pressurized water at your teeth, which can help dislodge bits of food that become trapped in nooks and crannies. While it’s easy to use, an oral irrigator isn’t a substitute for a toothbrush or dental floss — but when used along with proper brushing and flossing techniques, it can be very effective.

Floss Fundamentals

To keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, you need to floss at least once per day. But how do you get floss under the archwire of your braces? It’s not so hard with the help of a floss threader. Using this device is somewhat like threading a needle: You pull one end of floss through the threader, and then push the threader — carrying with it the free end of the floss — under the archwire. Now grasp the floss on each end and slide it up and down the sides of both teeth, and all the way under the gums until you hear a squeaky sound. Finally, pull it out and use a new section of floss for the next area.

Full Disclosure

Ever wonder how effective your tooth-cleaning techniques really are? There’s an accurate way to tell, using special vegetable dyes called “disclosing solutions” or “disclosing tablets.” As they dissolve in the mouth, these dyes highlight plaque and food debris that brushing has missed. You can then easily remove the dyed spots — and you’ll know for sure if your oral hygiene methods need a little “brushing up.”

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy now is an investment in your future. It enables you to get the best results from your orthodontic treatment, and starts you toward a brighter smile that can last for a lifetime.

Back to school with braces?

Tips for taking care of your braces at school

Summer is winding down and a new school year has started. Many of our patients are going back to school with braces on for the first time this week. At EMBRACE ORTHODONTICS, our team has prepared a few helpful tips that will make caring for your braces at school a breeze!

  • Follow the 2×2 brushing rule: brush your teeth for 2 minutes, 2 times per day. It’s also a good idea to keep an extra toothbrush in your back pack to brush after lunch for extra clean teeth. Remember, clean teeth make for faster appointments and healthier teeth.
  • Keep bottled water in your back pack. Drinking water keeps your mouth clean, helps fight cavities and promotes overall good oral health.
  • Keep a bag of elastics in your backpack and locker. Elastics are key to moving teeth during treatment and not wearing them can prolong your treatment time.
  • Check the school lunch menu online every weekend to plan ahead for meals. Pack healthy snacks like yogurt, smoothies and hard boiled eggs. Avoid foods that are hard, crunchy or chewy to prevent bending wires or knocking off brackets. Remember, damage to your braces can increase the time of your treatment.

We wish you all the best in the upcoming school year. If you have any questions on caring for your braces or are considering improving your smile with orthodontics, call Embrace Orthodontics for a FREE consultation.

This information is meant solely for educational purposes and not meant to be medical advice. If you have any questions, please contact our orthodontics in Dacula or our orthodontics in Grayson at (770) 995-4032.

The end of the year brings you good news!

Are you considering braces for yourself or a family member? The end of the year is a great time to get braces or to plan for them in the new year.

Two Reasons Why the End of Year Is Good for Orthodontic Treatment

The end of the year may leave you thinking of ways to spend unused portions of your flexible spending account (FSA). Since FSA balances are a ‘use it or lose it’ commodity, we encourage families to make the most of them before December 31st. If orthodontic treatment or braces is on your mind, this is a great way to take advantage of your FSA balance.

The end of the year is also a great time to plan for orthodontics treatment by exploring all of your health and dental options during open enrollment. Make an appointment for a free evaluation and treatment plan including exact costs in order to plan accurately for next year.

Dental Plans & Orthodontics

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If your dental and health plans do not cover orthodontics treatment in Grayson, Embrace Orthodontics offers variable payment plans that are customized to your needs.

Do you need help with a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HAS)? Our financial staff is available to assist you with making a decision as to how these could work to your advantage. At Embrace Orthodontics we encourage everyone that needs braces to consider them before the year ends!

If you have any questions about getting orthodontics treatment in Dacula before years’ end, please call our Dacula Orthodontics office for a free consultation.

If you have any questions about getting orthodontics treatment in Dacula before years’ end, please call our Dacula Orthodontics office for a free consultation.

If you have any questions about getting orthodontics treatment in Grayson before years’ end, please call our Grayson Orthodontics office for a free consultation.