Braces 101

Now that you’re decked out with brand new braces and you’re on your way to a stellar smile, how do you take care of them? Well, have no fear, Carolina Oaks Orthodontics is here with the answers! While we’ll give you detailed instructions when you get your braces put on, here’s a refresher on what you need to know about life with braces. If you ever have any questions, we’re always available to help, so give us a call at one of our many convenient upstate locations, or send us a message right here on our website.

Brushing and Flossing With Braces

When you’re wearing braces, you’ll want to be extra careful to get in all of the nooks and crannies to keep things clean and prevent cavities and gum disease. Brush your teeth in the morning, after every meal and before bed. Be sure to floss once a day too. If you forget your toothbrush, rinse really well with water after a snack and brush as soon as you get home. Here are some pointers:

Brushing Instructions


Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum.


Brush gently in a circular motion.


Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.


Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth.

Flossing Instructions


Using a piece of floss about 18 inches long, carefully thread the end between braces and wire. You may find a floss threader helpful.


Carefully floss around the braces.


Carefully floss around the gum areas.


Carefully floss around each tooth.

What to Eat With Braces

We promise, you won’t have to give up too many of your favorite foods when wearing braces and temporarily forgoing the few things that will have to wait until treatment is over (ahem, popcorn), will seem worth it when your healthy, beautiful smile takes shape. Use care when eating and cut or break up food into bite-sized pieces so you don’t damage your appliance.

Foods to Avoid With Braces:

  • Chewy foods – bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips
  • Sticky foods – caramel, chewing gum
  • Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into – whole, raw apples or carrots, corn on the cob (you can cut these foods up and take corn off the cob)

Foods You Can Eat With Braces:

  • Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads- soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains – pasta, soft-cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry – soft-cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood – tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, carrots and squash, beans
  • Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats – ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake