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The dos and don’ts of orthodontic treatment

The thought of having orthodontic treatment may be scary for some as it is a temporary commitment that you will have to live with daily. Having braces or Invisalign does take some getting used to and may seem uncomfortable at first, but the feeling will pass. To ensure your time with Invisalign, braces, and retainers go as smoothly as possible, we have compiled a list of dos and don’ts.


Dos of wearing braces:

  • Brush at least 3 times a day
  • Floss at least once per day
  • Watch diet, sugar intake, and acid intake
  • Keep regular checkups with general dentist
  • Use small rotation motion while brushing (small circles)
  • Use a fluoride rinse or paste before bed
  • Brush where gum and tooth meet to avoid plaque build up

Don’ts of wearing braces:

  • Don’t eat foods that will knock brackets off such as hard, sticky, and crunchy
  • Don’t chew gum
  • Don’t drink pop, sport drinks, and natural juices often
  • Don’t use vigorous scrubbing
  • Don’t chew on pens, pencils, ice, or finger nails
  • Don’t pick at brackets with fingers

Dos of wearing retainers:

  • Wear your retainers all the time for the first 5-6 months after treatment is finished and then wear retainers every night for the rest of your life
  • Clean your retainers daily with denture cleaning tablets followed by water and a tooth brush.  Daily cleaning with a denture tablet will keep retainers clean (you don’t need toothpaste if you clean them daily with denture tablets)
  • Call if you lose or break your retainers (don’t wait) or your teeth might move!
  • If given, keep models in a safe place, they can be used in the future for additional retainers
  • Keep retainers in case if not in mouth
  • Keep retainer away from pets or they will get chewed

Don’ts of wearing retainers:

  • Don’t take retainers out any longer than it takes you to eat, drink anything besides water or brush teeth within the first 5-6 months or teeth will move
  • Don’t eat or drink while wearing retainers unless you’re just drinking water
  • Don’t expose retainers to extreme temperatures such as boiling water, sunlight, dishwasher, dryer, or microwave
  • Don’t store retainers in pocket or napkin
  • Don’t let your pets eat your retainers