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Life with braces

Life With Braces

We have provided a list of common orthodontic concerns and we offer a completely complimentary consultation to address these concerns, and always strive to provide the best answers to any questions you may have.

Eating With Braces

Eating with braces requires some early adjustments. You will be limited to foods that are soft and easily mashed. Some popular foods for braces patients are pancakes, applesauce, mac & cheese, ice cream, and bananas. Please avoid hard or crunchy foods. It is common for braces patients to chop their food into smaller bites, or heat vegetables longer to make them softer.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask Dr. Poidmore, Dr. Crawford, or the rest of the staff.

What to Avoid

  • Hard and sticky foods
  • Chips
  • Nuts
  • Bagels and other hard breads
  • Bubblegum
  • Hard candy
  • Caramel
  • Popcorn
  • Chewing on ice
  • Chewing on pens and pencils
  • Be careful of foods with bones

Emergency Care

For situations requiring immediate medical attention, you should contact your doctor or local emergency medical services. If our office is closed and you find yourself in a situation where you require immediate medical attention, first attempt to contact the doctor via the after-hours line. Keep in mind that a true emergency orthodontic situation is rare. Most situations patients think are emergencies can actually be addressed at home. Loose brackets and wires can be covered in wax or pushed into place quite easily. You should still call us and schedule an appointment, but there is no need to rush to the emergency room. If an appliance is broken or a wire is out of place, contact us immediately.

Broken Brackets or Loose Wires

If your bracket or wire becomes loose, simply poke it back into place with tweezers or a pencil eraser until you can get an appointment to have it fixed. If this does not solve the problem, cover the area with orthodontic wax to relieve any irritation and call us to schedule an appointment to fix the issue!

Bite Bumps - Speed-up Treatment

When upper and lower braces are placed, in many instances, the top teeth bite down and contact the lower braces. This may cause the upper teeth to ‘bite off’ the lower braces, and as a result, will cause many extra visits to the office. To prevent this and allow placement of upper and lower braces at the same time, we use small temporary build-ups called “Bite Turbos” on the back side of the front teeth, or “Bite Props” on the biting surface of the rear teeth.

Because your bite is being propped open, your back teeth may not fully touch. This is normal and expected. Start with softer foods that are easier to chew and work your way up to more solid foods. If the Bite Bumps come off, please call to schedule a repair. Although Bite Bumps may be slightly annoying at first, the treatment time saved is well worth it in the end.


What are they?

Elastics are actually tiny rubber bands. The bands are hooked to your braces and apply bits of pressure to your teeth to ensure your teeth align. Dr. Poidmore or Dr. Crawford will instruct you how often you will need to wear elastics, which are removable.

What if your elastics break?

We will provide you with a pack of elastics to use. If you run out, feel free to contact our office – we would be happy to ship you some more. If your elastics break, you may replace them with a new band. Breakage can occur from opening too often or too wide, although it is not common for elastics to break. If your elastics break regularly, contact our office, and we will fit you with new elastics.

Brushing and Flossing With Braces

Brushing Techniques

Start by brushing the outsides of your teeth, brushing from top to bottom. Do not use too much pressure and be sure to cover all surfaces. Brush all your teeth, including the teeth in the back of your mouth. Please brush at least twice a day for three minutes. If you do not wish to use a timer, Dr. Poidmore and Dr. Crawford suggest singing along to your favorite song to keep track of time.

Flossing Techniques

Flossing with braces can sometimes be difficult but follow these instructions to keep your teeth extra clean!
Use a floss threader and glide the end of the threader behind the wires and between each tooth. Then, simply use a back-and-forth motion to clean in between your teeth! Repeat this for every tooth.


Always brush your retainer when you remove it from your mouth. Toothpaste, hand soap, or denture cleaners work well to clean retainers. Heat can manipulate the shape of your retainer, so avoid hot water or the dishwasher. Make it a habit to place your retainer in its case when not in use. Too often, patients will wrap their retainer in a napkin to find it has been thrown away by accident! If you ever lose or break your retainer, please contact us as soon as possible for a refitting. Not wearing a retainer can cause your teeth to shift.

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The staff and orthodontists are so nice and flexible — we appreciate them so much!
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