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Care For You Braces


Today was the big day! Your braces are on, and there are probably a lot of questions and concerns you might have. You will be surprised at how little time it will takes to adapt to your new orthodontic appliances. In fact, after the initial soreness and adjustment period, life won't be much different at all. There are a few helpful hints that will make life easier for you while you are getting used to your braces:

Initial Tenderness | Care of Your Braces | Diet | Habits | Extracurricular Activities | Orthodontic Diet Chart | Don't Play Around With Plaque


Your teeth will be tender for the next few days. Tylenol or Advil will help relieve this tenderness. Exercising the teeth by chewing on the bite wafer that is in your "Survival Kit" will help relieve the soreness. Sore teeth are similar to muscles that become sore from exercise. As with sore muscles, the sooner the teeth are exercised, the sooner the soreness will be worked out.

Your teeth may start to feel mobile or "loose" during treatment. This is normal.

The braces may cause some irritation to the lips, tongue or cheeks. If this happens, you may:

  • Use a small piece of silicone wax in your "Survival Kit" to cover the bracket to make it smoother. After a few weeks, the lips and cheek will adapt to the brackets or appliance, and the wax will no longer be necessary.
  • Use warm salt water rinses to help cleanse the irritated tissue and speed healing.
  • Use Zilactin or Orabase on the irritated tissue to help ease the discomfort.
  • Take Tylenol or Advil for discomfort.

A tie wire may get loose and stick the inside of your mouth. When this happens, gently tuck the wire back into place under the main archwire with a blunt object such as an eraser on the end of a pencil. If you can't nudge the wire back into place, cover it with a small piece of silicone wax until you can get in to the office.


Be careful with your new braces – they are not indestructible. In fact, they can be easily loosened or even broken if you are not careful.

Of course, extra care will be needed to keep your teeth clean. Cavities and/or white spots can develop around the bands and brackets if the teeth are not kept clean. Poor oral hygiene can also lead to inflamed, unhealthy gums. We will insist that you continue to see your regular dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.


It is absolutely essential that you AVOID eating hard foods such as ice, popcorn, nuts or corn chips.

Sticky foods should also be avoided. Foods such as gum (especially bubblegum), taffy, caramel, fruit roll ups and other sticky foods will loosen your braces.

If you eat raw fruits and vegetables or crusty breads, it's a good idea to cut them into bite size pieces before eating them.

Fresh corn should be sliced off the cob before eating.

Try to cut down on sugary foods and carbonated beverages because these are major culprits in the development of "white spots" on the teeth around the braces.


Habits such as chewing on pencils, biting fingernails, picking at your wires, thumbsucking and unnatural tongue thrusting may loosen or break your braces. Try to break bad habits before they break your braces!!!


You may participate in contact sports with braces, as long as you wear a mouthguard. We will be glad to provide a mouthguard to you if you need one.

You can still play your musical instrument with braces. It may take a little patience when you first get your braces as you adapt to a different "feel", but please remember, many before you have done it, so we know you can, too!!!

This is going to be a fun time for you!!! Just remember effort = results. The better your effort, the better your results. You are on the road to a winning smile that will last a lifetime!!!!!

Remember we are always here to help you and answer any questions that you might have.
Good luck and enjoy the ride!!!


Foods that cannot be cleaned off the braces may lead to discoloration and decay of your teeth. Even though our braces and wires are metal or ceramic, they are fragile and are usually damaged by eating the wrong foods, thus taking longer to finish your treatment.


Gum Sugarless or otherwise
Sticky caramels Sugar Daddies Star Bursts caramel apples
Foods licorice toffee Now & Laters Tootsie Rolls
Gummy Bears Jolly Ranchers Milk Duds Snickers
Hard Foods nuts popcorn hard candy bagels
Doritos pizza crusts hard pretzels jerky
ice corn on the cob apples/carrots (unless

cooked or cut into small pieces)

Minimize sugar intake

Eat much less candy cookies cake ice cream
pie foods with sugar
Drink much less soda pop drinks with sugar

* The foods listed above are only examples. There are so many others to be aware of.


  1. The patient (or parent) should check for loose bands on a periodic basis by attempting to gently move the band with a fingernail. If bands become loose or wires broken, call during office hours to let us know so that we may schedule your appointment with the appropriate time to repair your appliances.
  2. Brush thoroughly after each meal. Brush the gum line around the bands or wires. If you fail to get the teeth clean and exercise the gums, the gums swell and make it more difficult to clean. Continued neglect of these areas may result in bad breath or even tooth decay.


Tooth brushing should be done in four steps:

  1. Along gum line on each individual tooth, front surface and back surface, not in groups of teeth.
  2. On top surfaces of the teeth.
  3. Under archwire all the way around.
  4. Then go back and shine up the bands and brackets.

You need to concentrate on one tooth at a time and work your way all the way around the arch. Then you will continue to the next arch. Do not try to do everything all at once! If this is followed in the same order each time, it will be more effective, and you won't forget any areas.

Typically, patients with braces do not apply enough pressure to the toothbrush to get between the teeth and the gums.

If you have a Waterpik or Hydro Floss, use it as often as possible.

DENTAL FLOSS is very, very important! This needs to be done at least once a day. Before bed is a great time so that you can take your time and not be rushed. A substitute for regular flossing is the HYDRO FLOSS. For additional information, please inquire from any staff member.

We will schedule appointments to go over tooth brushing if it is not done properly. It is a must!

Please call our office if you have any question or concerns. Thank you!

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Texas Dental Association


American Association of Orthodontists


 American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry


American Dental Association


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Jim Bowden D.D.S

7185 Westwind Drive
El Paso, Texas, 79912 



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