How Do I Take Care of My Braces?

Braces are an incredible appliance to help shift your teeth into the perfect position. They require a short learning curve to take care of them properly, which our team can help you with. Lively & Napoli Orthodontics is passionate about keeping our patients up-to-date on their oral health and how to keep their braces in perfect condition. Our team is here to share a daily oral care routine to follow, the importance of your follow-up appointments, how to handle normal discomfort and more! 

Create a Daily Oral Care Routine


Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of basic oral hygiene. It is essential to include it in your daily routine to preserve your dental health. Braces require some extra time to ensure you keep your teeth and appliances clean. We recommend using a soft-bristled, rounded toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush gently without damaging your appliances. 

Polish the surface of your teeth for about two to three minutes. Then, inspect your teeth to ensure you have removed any small food particles left behind. Crooked teeth allow food to hide in accessible spaces, but our team will direct your attention to any specific places to watch out for. 


Due to the wires across each of your teeth, braces require flossing to be a little more involved than before. A string of floss will not be able to reach down between your teeth, so our team will provide you with floss threaders. All you need to do is thread a string through the thin plastic tool and weave it under your wire to dislodge any plaque or particles of food.

When maintained, this extra step makes all the difference in your dental health. Dr. Lively and Dr. Napoli recommend doing so once daily after brushing your teeth at night. Our team will happily replenish your supply of floss threaders when you run out at your next appointment.


A great way to complement your oral health while wearing braces is by rinsing with mouthwash. This can significantly boost oral health by preventing cavities, fighting tooth decay, removing plaque, and freshening up bad breath. 

Some mouthwash formulas include fluoride, the same natural ingredient in water and toothpaste, which builds up your protection against tooth decay and preserves your enamel. It is important to remember it does not serve as a substitute for brushing and flossing but acts as the cherry on top of your dental care routine!

Attend Your Follow-Up Appointments

Attending each of your follow-up appointments is crucial. This is Dr. Lively and Dr. Napoli’s way of monitoring your progress and ensuring your braces are still in excellent condition from your last time in our practice. During this time, our team will make wire adjustments, adapt your treatment as necessary, and check in with you about any questions you may have. 

These scheduled appointments are deliberately spaced out to make changes to the schedule. We understand sometimes the unexpected happens and that you may be unable to attend your appointment. Please let our team know as soon as possible so we can help you reschedule. At Lively & Napoli Orthodontics, we aim to be as flexible as possible with your schedule without your care plan suffering.

How Do I Take Care of My Braces?

Follow Food Restrictions

Braces come with food restrictions to keep your appliance in perfect working condition and your treatment schedule on track. As you care for your braces, understanding which foods are unsafe and safe to eat with your appliance is vital. We are always happy to answer questions about whether a particular food is safe to eat. 

Foods You Can Eat

Dr. Lively and Dr. Napoli recommend sticking to a soft-food diet while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Pasta, well-cooked chicken, soft vegetables, eggs, oatmeal, and similar items are encouraged to be included in your meals. In other words, something soft and easy to chew is the way to go. While your options may feel limited initially, we hope you use this opportunity to try new foods you may otherwise avoid trying. 

Foods to Avoid

As strong as your braces are, they are not meant to chew extremely sticky or crunchy foods. To keep your appliance in shape, avoid popcorn, nuts, hard cookies, fresh vegetables, bagels, gum, and chips. If your favorite food needs to stay in the pantry during your treatment, we promise the wait for your brand-new smile will be worth it!

The more effort you put into keeping your braces journey on track now, the sooner you can enjoy your smile and food! 

Handling Common Discomforts

After your braces are placed, our team will share with you how to deal with discomfort as your teeth get used to the sensation of something new. Your initial placement appointment and wire tightenings may result in temporary soreness. To help ease any pain or tenderness, Dr. Lively and Dr. Napoli recommend taking over-the-counter pain medication to manage teeth sensitivity. Symptoms like mouth sores, inflammation, and loose wires can easily be handled at home with their help. 

Our team also suggests keeping a container of orthodontic wax with you. Orthodontic wax is a great tool to combat irritation. It can cover up and smooth out sharp or pointy areas of your appliance. Simply tear a small piece of it off and press it flush against the area causing the discomfort. Should it fall off without you knowing it, don’t worry! It is safe for your system to digest.

If you experience an emergency with your braces and are unsure what to do, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We can walk you through initial at-home care and help you schedule an emergency appointment.

How Do I Take Care of My Braces?

Protect Your Braces Each Day!

We hope this short guide has made you feel more confident about caring for your braces! Our team is always ready to answer your questions and support you through each step of your smile journey. Lively & Napoli Orthodontics provides consultation exams at our Stuart practice and proudly serves the surrounding communities. Schedule yours today and get started on a life-changing treatment!