All About Braces

Brushing and Flossing

Gill Orthodontics is committed to helping our patients achieve excellent oral hygiene while in orthodontic treatment and beyond. To help our patients achieve this, Gill Orthodontics participates in The Ortho Essentials program by Crest Oral B. This is a proven system to give every orthodontic patient the tools they need to have the best oral hygiene possible while in orthodontic treatment. Please click the icon below to learn details about this program, including the Oral B Triumph toothbrush, which all of our patients in comprehensive treatment receive.

Eating with Braces

Watching your diet while you are in braces can prevent unscheduled trips to our office and ultimately shorten your treatment time. Please avoid hard foods like nuts, popcorn, hard candy (Jolly Ranchers), thick pretzels, ice, hard granola bars, hard bread or pizza crusts. These foods risk breaking brackets and wires. Also, beware of nail biting and pen or pencil chewing habits, since these can also damage your braces. Sticky foods, such as taffy, caramels, bubble gum, and starbursts should also be avoided.

Some foods should be cut into bite-size pieces in order to eat them. Examples include corn on the cob (cut off the cob), raw vegetables such as carrots and celery, or fresh fruits like apples and pears.

In the interest of your overall dental health, we recommend that you limit your sugar intake.

Chewing a stick of sugarless gum, especially for a few minutes right after an adjustment appointment, can stimulate the blood flow and ease the discomfort sometimes associated with tooth movement.

Foods to Avoid

Sticky Foods:

  • Caramels
  • Bubble Gum
  • Starburst
  • Candy/Caramel Apples
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Taffy

Hard Foods:

  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Jaw Breakers
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Hard Pretzels
  • Bagels
  • Ice

To Minimize Sugar Intake

Eat Less of:

  • Candy
  • Ice Cream
  • Cake
  • Cookies
  • Pie

Drink Less of:

  • Soft Drinks
  • Other Drinks with sugar

Check your braces occasionally to be sure there are no loose brackets or broken wires. If you discover a broken wire or loose bracket, please call our office so we can schedule the appropriate appointment to repair your braces.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 1-3 days. Take Tylenol or whatever you normally take for headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort.

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed.

Loose Wire or Band

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.

Rubber Band Wear

To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Lack of cooperation following instructions and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time… so please … follow instructions.


If you play sports, it’s important you let us know. A protective mouthguard is provided for playing contact sports.