Braces FAQ - Medford Center For Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry

82 Forest Street
Medford, MA 02155

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Braces FAQs

Braces FAQs

Questions about braces? We'll help straighten things out!

Brush everywhere, especially along the gum line (above and below the braces). To floss, simply thread the floss behind the wire and floss between every tooth.
Food and plaque can easily get trapped in the brackets and wires of your braces. If not removed, they can lead to decay and staining of your teeth. It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine while in orthodontic treatment. We recommend carrying a braces care kit with you, keeping a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash for on-the-go cleaning. Remember to visit your dentist regularly, even while in orthodontic treatment. Your long-term results are dependent on having healthy teeth during treatment.
Brush at least twice a day or after every meal, if possible, and floss at least once a day. It can be helpful to buy a floss threader or water flosser to help you get in between your wires and around your brackets effectively.
The following foods are forbidden and should NEVER be eaten (or drank) while wearing braces :
  • Hard foods, such as candies and nuts
  • Sticky foods, like gum and caramels.
  • Chewy foods, such as licorice or bagels.
  • Crunchy foods like popcorn, ice, or chips.
  • Foods that require you to take large bites into them, such as apples, carrots, or corn on the cob.
The following foods are okay to eat while wearing braces :
  • Soft breads, such as pancakes, muffins, or soft tortillas.
  • Dairy products, including soft cheese, milk-based beverages, and puddings.
  • Grains, such as soft, cooked rice, and pastas.
  • Meats & poultry including soft cooked chicken, meatballs, or lunch meat.
  • Seafood, such as crab cakes, tuna, or salmon.
  • Soft veggies, like mashed potatoes, beans, and steamed spinach.
  • Fruits including bananas, applesauce, and fruit juices.
  • Treats like ice cream with no nuts, milkshakes, soft cakes, and Jell-O.
This is a common question, but one that does not have a straightforward answer. There is no magic formula to know exactly how long your treatment will take. We can generally offer an expected time frame, but there are multiple factors that determine treatment time. The severity of your malocclusion is one factor. The less severe your issue, the shorter you can expect your treatment to be. How your mouth responds to treatment is another factor. This is a factor that an orthodontist cannot account for prior to treatment. Some people’s mouths respond quickly to the movement, while others take a bit more time. You also play a factor in your treatment time. It is important that you comply with all your orthodontist’s recommendations throughout treatment. If you are asked to wear elastics or if you have chosen Invisalign as your treatment, it is crucial that you comply with wear instructions in order to keep your treatment on track. The average orthodontic patient will be in treatment for anywhere from 18-36 months.
If you have chosen a more traditional treatment option, you will need to make adjustments to your diet. Brackets can be pulled loose and wires can break, so we ask that you avoid anything too hard, sticky,Chewy or crunchy. That means if apples are a favorite snack, you will need to cut them into bite-sized pieces rather than biting directly into the apple.