Patient Education

Keeping A Healthy Smile with BRACES

Braces create small ledges, nooks and crannies for food deposits, which can lead to cavities and gum problems. This makes brushing and flossing even more important while you are wearing braces. When you brush and floss, handle your appliances carefully so you won’t break or loosen them. Following these brushing and eating tips will keep your appliances and your smile healthy.



Be sure to brush your teeth right after every meal and before you go to bed. It’s best to use a fluoride toothpaste to help fight cavities. Your orthodontist may prescribe a fluoride mouth rinse to help prevent cavities. Try to brush like this:

  • Start by brushing the outside of each tooth at least 10 times.
  • Then brush where your gums and teeth meet, using a circular motion.
  • Brush the inside surface of each tooth at least 10 times, too.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth last.


Because your toothbrush won’t reach between your teeth, brushing alone won’t keep your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing can help. A floss threader, available from us, or a pharmacy, helps you floss with braces on. Floss once a day, like this: Thread floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire.

  • Thread floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire.
  • Pull the floss between two teeth and up under your gum margins.
  • Rinse with lots of clean water, and watch your teeth and braces sparkle


Use a fluoride toothpaste. Doctor may prescribe a fluoride rinse if necessary.



You should be brushing at least three times a day – once at breakfast, at lunch and before you go to bed. If you are not able to brush after you eat, be sure to rinse thoroughly with water, and NEVER skip brushing at night before you go to bed.

Eating Tips

Eating Tips

While you are wearing braces, you can eat almost all of your favorite foods. Please stay away from these troublemakers:

  • Sticky foods like gum, taffy and caramels
  • Hard foods like apples and carrots (cut them into pieces)
  • Crunchy foods like corn chips, popcorn and nuts

Keeping A Healthy Smile with BRACES

Without exception, all patients in our practice go through the retention phase of treatment. Retention begins when the braces are removed. If the teeth are not retained in their corrected position, they will begin to move over time. Patients in the retention phase are seen periodically in our office during the first year after braces are removed. After that, please call the office if there is a problem with your retainers.

Typically, a removable retainer is worn full time for the first three months then at night only for the next 9 months. A bonded retainer should be worn permanently. At the end of the first year in retention, patients have concluded their treatment in our office. It is then their responsibility to wear a retainer as prescribed indefinitely. Please call our Wausau office if there are any concerns.

For lasting success from orthodontic treatment:

  • Wear you retainer as prescribed
  • Don’t let it get bent or otherwise damaged
  • Call for a repair appointment if it is damaged or loosened
  • Keep it clean, floss regularly
  • Keep it in its case when not being worn
  • Be committed to maintaining your beautiful smile