• Brushing & Flossing
• Eating Habits
• Removable Appliances
• Orthodontic First Aid
• Broken Appliances
• The Patient’s Responsibility
• Broken Appointments
Brushing & Flossing
You will notice that it requires more time to keep
your teeth clean while wearing braces. Food tends to
get stuck in the braces and between your teeth, and
can only be removed by brushing and flossing
thoroughly. Brushing and flossing after meals should
become part of your daily schedule. Brush at least
two to three times a day (especially in the morning
after breakfast and in the evening before going to
bed) and floss at least once every day. In order to
get the floss under your wires, use floss threaders.
Examine your teeth and braces in a mirror after
brushing and flossing. If there is still food and
plaque, brush again. If plaque remains on the teeth
for an extended length of time, it can leave a
permanent white discoloration on the surface as well
as cause cavities.Continued poor oral hygiene can result in a removal of
orthodontic wires and/or braces and a delay in
treatment progress until you or your child can
demonstrate the ability to keep the orthodontic
appliances and teeth clean. In extreme circumstances,
continued poor oral hygiene can also result in the
discontinuance of orthodontic treatment at Guidry
A healthy diet means a healthy body, healthy teeth,
and a better result from you or your child’s
orthodontic treatment. Please do not eat hard foods.
These foods risk breaking braces and wires. Also
beware of nail biting and pen or pencil chewing
habits, since these can damage your braces. Do not eat
sticky foods, because they are difficult for you to
remove from your braces. Use common sense about most
Foods to avoid while wearing braces:
- Chewing gum (all kinds, including sugar-free and
- Ice cubes • Hard pizza or bread crust
- Apples (unless cut into bite-sized pieces)
- Carrots (unless cut into bite-sized pieces)
- Popcorn (unless eating one at a time)
- Frozen candy bars
- Nuts (unless eating one at a time)
- Hard candies
- Sticky candies (e.g. Tootsie Rolls, Now-N-Laters, Jujy
Fruits, caramel, Starbursts, Gummy Bears, Sugar
- Meat on the bone (e.g. chicken, spareribs)
- Beef jerky
- Celery (unless chopped-up)
- Granola bars
- Corn on the cobb (unless scraped off the cobb)
- Crunchy chips
- Hard pizza
- Bread crust
Foods to eat much less of while wearing braces:
• Candy (all kinds)
• Other foods with sugar (i.e., ice cream, cookies,
cake, pie, etc.)
Drinks to drink much less of while wearing braces:
• Soft drinks (i.e., Coke, Mountain Dew, Sprite, etc.)
• Other drinks with sugar
• Excessive coffee or tea
Elastics (rubber bands) exert a force that creates
pressure to move teeth or hold teeth in their proper
position. In order for this force to remain constant,
elastics must be worn all the time, unless told
otherwise. Any time missed in wearing your elastics
will only make your treatment take longer, so remember
- You are responsible for placing the elastics on your
braces between appointments. Make sure to wear them as
instructed. Remove them only when eating and brushing
your teeth, gums, and braces after meals. Then put new
elastics back on immediately.
- Always carry a few elastics with you, so if one
breaks you can replace it right away. If your supply
is low, call the office, and we will provide you with
an additional supply of elastics. Do not wait until
your next appointment to obtain more.
- If you forget to insert your elastics one day, do not
double up the next day. Just follow your regular
- Elastics become worn out. When they lose their
elasticity, they do not provide the proper pressure on
your teeth and jaws. It is very important to change
them as directed, even when they are not broken.
Elastics should be changed at each meal, with old
elastics being discarded and new elastics being
inserted after eating and brushing.
- If your elastics break frequently, a wire or band
loosens, or a brace breaks off, call our office
immediately. Do not wait until your next appointment.
These problems need to be corrected as soon as
Removable Appliances The removable appliance is carefully designed to move
or to hold your teeth. It will sometimes make you or
your child’s teeth sore, especially if it is adjusted
to move teeth. It is important that it is worn
according to instructions and brought to each
- Avoid flipping your appliance with your tongue. This
can cause damage to your teeth or loosening and
breakage of your appliance.
- Clean your appliance by brushing it daily with
toothpaste. Denture cleaner (e.g. Efferdent) can also
be used for more thorough cleaning.
- Never wrap your appliance in a paper napkin or tissue
and set it down on the table. You or someone else may
accidentally throw it away. Do not put it in your pant
or jacket pocket, because you may break or lose it.
Whenever it is not in your mouth, it should be placed
in its plastic appliance case.
- Keep your appliance away from dogs or cats, as they
love to chew on them. Avoid storing them near any
source of heat. Do not boil your retainer to sterilize
it. If needed, bring it to the office, and we will be
happy to disinfect it for you.
Orthodontic First Aid
During routine orthodontic treatment, a certain amount
of discomfort involving your teeth, gums, tongue,
lips, and cheeks is normal and should be anticipated.
Most of the time this discomfort will go away several
days after your orthodontic appointment. Some
irritations of your soft tissues (i.e., gums, tongue,
lips, and cheeks) may persist for a week as they “toughen up” and get used to rubbing against your
orthodontic appliances. Oftentimes relief can be
obtained without an additional visit to our office.
Here are some orthodontic “first aid” suggestions to
use at home in order to help minimize the discomfort
that you may encounter:
1. General Tooth soreness
Acetominophen (Tylenol) or
ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can be used as needed by
following the dosage instructions on the package;
continuous, long-term usage of these medications
during orthodontic treatment is not necessary, nor is
2. Loose Appliances
a) Loose band or bracket-If band or bracket is still
attached to wire, leave in place. If uncomfortable,
place wax on it. If it comes out completely, wrap band
or bracket in tissue and bring to next appointment.
b) Loose wire-Try to place wire back in place with
tweezers. If that is not possible, contact our office
for advice before clipping wire. If any discomfort,
place wax on it.
c) Poking wire-Try to push sticking wire down with
spoon or eraser. If not possible, place wax on it and
contact our office for advice.
Two types of medication, one to relieve
discomfort and one to heal, may be necessary to help
get relief from these soft tissue irritations:
a)Topical anesthetic-Either a liquid or a gel that you
apply to numb the ulcer until it can heal; these
medications are commonly sold under the names Anbesol,
Orajel, or Orabase; any of these are fine, as long as
their active ingredient is 20% Benzocaine.
b) Mouth rinse-Promotes healing of the ulcer; and of
the following may be used;
- i) Salt water-1 small glass of warm water mixed with
1 teaspoon of salt; swish in mouth 3 times/day for 5
- ii) Peroxyl (by Colgate)-Follow dosage instructions
on package after each meal for 3-4 days.
- iii) Amosan (by Oral B)-Follow dosage instructions on
package after each meal for 3-4 days.
Any of the previously mentioned medications can be
purchased at your local drugstore, such as Walgreens
or Rite-Aid. Please do not hesitate to contact our
office if you feel unable to handle a problem on your
own, have questions, or need advice regarding
discomfort with your orthodontic appliances. We will
be happy to help!
Please Note: Any tooth discomfort or soft tissue
irritations that persist for more than two (2) weeks
may indicate a more serious condition that warrants
specific treatment by our office, your general
dentist, and/or another dental specialist. Please
notify our office and/or your general dentist
immediately if any such condition should persist.
It is the patient’s shared responsibility to care for
their orthodontic appliances. Broken appliances can
significantly prolong you or your child’s treatment
and/or compromise the desired treatment results
because of unwanted or lack of tooth movement.
Orthodontic appliances are also expensive. Habitual
breakage of orthodontic appliances during active
treatment can result in additional treatment charges
and, in extreme circumstances, can result in
discontinuance of treatment at Guidry Orthodontics.
Now that your braces are off and you are enjoying your
beautiful new smile, we would like to give you some
information about retainers. Retainers are very
important to your orthodontic result, and the first
year after braces is always the most crucial.
- Until you are advised differently, wear your
retainer all the time. The clear retainer should be
worn when playing sports.
- Brush the retainers with cold water every time you
brush your teeth. Occasionally, soaking in regular
denture cleaner if deposit buildup is a problem is
also a good idea.
- Retainers can easily be broken if they are not in
your mouth or in their case. Avoid backpacks, back
pockets, tabletops, and places where the family pet
can reach them.
- If your retainer breaks, do not try to fix it
yourself. Call our office immediately to get it
repaired (if possible) or have a new retainer
fabricated. Additional charges will apply for these
services unless otherwise notified.
- Be careful not to click your retainer in and out
with your tongue. This will cause it to loosen and not
fit properly.• Retainers do not like heat. Avoid hot water,
sunlight, and do not microwave them (yes, it has been
- You may talk differently or salivate more when you
first get your retainer. This is normal and will
improve with practice and time.
Remember: retainers are difficult to make and are
expensive to replace. Broken retainers during
retention will result in additional charges in order
to repair or replace them. Take care of them and keep
your recall appointments with us. With proper care,
your retainer will serve you well for a very long
A broken appointment is an appointment that the patient misses, cancel/reschedule with less that twenty-four (24) hours notice to our office. If for some reason you cannot keep your scheduled appointment please contact our office as soon as possible. By doing so, you allow another patient to use that time, as well as reschedule your appointment in a timely manner. If it is after hours, please leave your name and number and a brief message on our answering service, and we will return your call as soon as we can.
Habitually (frequently) broken appointments can significantly prolong you or your child’s treatment and/or compromise the desired treatment results because of unwanted or lack of tooth movement. It also does not allow our office to monitor you or your child’s progress, whether this involves monitoring growth and development or orthodontic appliances.