Wearing and Caring for Your Braces


Wearing and Caring for your Braces brushing and flossing


Getting braces can be an exciting time as your teeth are moved into place to achieve your best smile, but there are extra steps you must take to properly care for your braces, mouth, teeth and gums. 


Braces and Brushing 

Caring for braces takes a little more time and effort. It’s extremely important to adhere to good dental hygiene routines when you have braces so that plaque doesn’t build up under the brackets and discolor teeth. When you have metal or ceramic braces, food particles can get stuck between the brackets and wires. While brushing teeth with braces takes more time than your normal brushing routine, in time, with a little practice, it will become easier and faster.

Step-by-step instructions on how to brush your teeth with metal or ceramic braces:

  • Rinse your mouth with water to dislodge big food particles.
  • Rinse your toothbrush with hot water and apply a pea-sized drop of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Start brushing your bottom teeth with the bristles slanted to the top of your mouth at a 45 degree angle (on the underside of your braces.) Then flip your toothbrush and continue brushing the bottom teeth with the bristles facing down toward the gum line (on the top side of your lower braces.) Brush the chewing surfaces of your bottom teeth. Be sure to reach the far teeth in the back of your mouth.
  • Now brush your upper teeth. First face your bristles downward, brushing the top side of your braces. Then flip your toothbrush to brush the underside of your braces. Then brush the chewing surfaces of your top teeth.
  • Brush the inner surfaces of your teeth on both the top and bottom by using up and down, back and forth, and circular motions.
  • Face your toothbrush directly toward your teeth and brackets and begin brushing in a circular motion. Spend 25 to 30 seconds on each bracket.
  • Use an interdental toothbrush also called a proxy brush, to brush underneath wires.
  • Brush your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth. Then rinse your mouth with water to get rid of any loosened particles.


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Call Dr. Zaki today to schedule your appointment.(757) 416-1100 Remember, Zaki Orthodontics in Virginia Beach treats patients of all ages.


Braces and Flossing

When you have braces, floss before your brush. Use a floss threader to thread the floss under the wires. Move the floss up and down gently under the wire, between teeth. Then remove and repeat.

Watch this video on brushing and flossing teeth with braces from the American Association of Orthodontists

Braces and FoodPopcorn with braces

If you have friends that have metal or ceramic braces, you may have heard them talking about foods they can’t eat with braces, and this is important because some foods can damage your brackets and wires. Damaged brackets and wires will require another appointment and may push back your treatment duration. For the most part, try to avoid the following foods:

  • Crunchy and hard foods such as popcorn, chips, ice, hard candies and hard pretzels
  • Chewy and Sticky foods like chewing gum, taffy, caramels, bagels and chewy candies
  • Other foods such as apples, carrots, celery and corn on the cob

If you happen to break a bracket or loosen a band be sure to call Dr. Zaki to schedule an immediate appointment to have it fixed. Please note that it is not an orthodontic emergency and can wait until regular office hours to be fixed.

Braces and Comfort

Braces are designed to be as comfortable as possible but because they are moving your teeth, they may cause some discomfort.

When braces are first put on or are tightened, there may be some slight discomfort. This slight discomfort is normal as your teeth shift. If you experience discomfort, you can rinse with warm saltwater or take an over-the-counter pain reliever as approved by your doctor.

Sometimes as your teeth are being moved by the braces into a better position, the wire will get longer at the back of the braces. The wire may then poke the inside of your mouth near the molar area and cause pain and discomfort to the tissue. To solve the issue, dry the area with a paper towel, roll a piece of orthodontic wax into a ball and place it onto the area of the poking wire. If the pain and discomfort continue, call Dr. Zaki to schedule an appointment so the wire can be clipped.

Sometimes braces rub against your gums and the insides of your cheeks causing sores. Use orthodontic wax in problem areas and rinse with warm salt water.


Wearing and Caring for Your Braces

If you are experiencing an unordinary amount of discomfort be sure to call the office at Zaki Orthodontics to discuss pain relief options.

Any additional questions about caring for braces? Call us at (757) 416-1100. We’re here to help!


Dr. Zaki is an orthodontist in Virginia Beach VA providing you and your family with orthodontic treatments that will improve your smile, bite and confidence. From children to adults, Dr. Zaki can create a custom orthodontic plan for your teeth. Whether you are looking for braces, Invisalign®, dental appliances or teeth whitening, Dr. Zaki is the experienced orthodontist to provide you with the highest quality Virginia Beach orthodontics.