CALL US TODAY! 858-756-6878

Caring for Braces

Braces come with a lot of responsibility. Read the information below for some helpful hints and cleaning tricks!

Caring For Braces At Home:


How to keep your braces clean: 

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth, between braces and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

You will also want to make sure you maintain good flossing habits while in braces. To assist with flossing you may use “flossers” or a waterpik. Flossers are available in our office free of charge and Waterpik devices can be purchased from Target, Costco, and Amazon- just to name a few!

Foods to Avoid:

As a general rule, patients with braces should avoid anything sticky, crunch, or hard. Some of these foods include popcorn, peanuts, gum, caramel, and hard chips. These foods can cause brackets to break, which can lengthen orthodontic treatment time and cause emergency visits.


When we use the word ‘Elastics’ in our office we are referring to tiny rubber bands. These tiny rubber bands apply pressures to the teeth in certain directions that braces alone can not. These elastics are connected to tiny hooks on your braces or Invisalign trays. The elastics can be taken in and out, and Dr. Pfeffer will instruct you on how often to wear them, and what configuration they should be worn in. Elastics should only be worn as prescribed by your orthodontist.

Should you run out of elastics between appointments you are always welcome to stop by the office and get more. You can also give us a call and we will ship them directly to your home.

Braces Emergencies: 

  • Broken Brackets
    • Broken brackets are uncommon when avoiding the appropriate foods. However, if it does happen do not worry. Broken brackets on the back teeth can be clipped at our office or at home and will be re-glued at your next scheduled appointment. Broken brackets on the front teeth will be re-glued within a week or two of breaking. Please call our office at 858-756-6878 to schedule your emergency visit if it is needed.
  • Poking Wires
    • If your wire is poking your cheeks give our office a call to we can schedule you to come get them clipped. This is a normal and means that your teeth are moving and space is closing, which is why we refer to them as “progress pokes”. If this happens over the weekend or when you are out of town you can always trim the wires yourself with a clean nail clippers or wire cutters.

For more information regarding the care of your braces, please visit our Youtube Channel!