You Have Braces—Now What?

You've taken a big step by starting your braces journey! You're now officially on the path toward a healthier, more beautiful smile. It's an exciting time, but it also comes with a learning curve.

As you get used to your new orthodontic treatment, you may need to make a few adjustments, but it'll become second nature in no time.

Care & Maintenance

Brushing with braces can take some adjustment. However, it's important to brush thoroughly after every meal or snack to remove any food particles before bacteria can grow.

If you cannot brush right away, rinsing your mouth with water will help until you can get to a toothbrush.

Follow these tips for the best results:

  • Use fluoride toothpaste with a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush.
  • Braces wear toothbrushes out quickly, so be sure to replace yours as soon as it shows signs of wear.
  • Brush around every part of your braces and every surface of your teeth.
  • Look for clean and shiny braces, with the edge of the brackets visible. Fuzzy or dull-looking metal indicates poor brushing.
  • Floss every night before you go to bed. Tools like floss threaders and Waterpiks are helpful if you need help with getting a good floss underneath the wires.

Caring for Your Orthodontic Appliance

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

Invisalign is only effective if you wear the aligners 20-22 hours per day, as recommended by Dr. Nick Kim. Compliance is the only way to ensure your treatment is effective and to help you achieve the smile you've always wanted.

Marietta metal braces

Eating With Braces

Don't worry; you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you enjoy some of the treats you love, you'll need to avoid any foods that could damage your new braces.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Candy
  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

  • Apples
  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Minimize Sugary Foods like:

  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Eat Only Once a Day:

  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar


We encourage our Tucker and Marietta patients to quit bad habits, such as fingernail biting, pencil and pen chewing, and chewing on foreign objects. All of these activities can break or damage your braces.

It's important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. If you have a loose/broken wire or bracket, please call Duo Orthodontics immediately to arrange a repair appointment.