Braces 411

Caring for your braces

Now that your orthodontic treatment has started, here are a few helpful hints. It is important to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your treatment.

Be careful to protect the orthodontic appliances when you eat. Faithfully following the list of foods to avoid will help to reduce and eliminate the need for repairs. Don’t worry; you’ll be eating popcorn and chewing gum again in no time! However, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Eating with Braces

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Gum – this includes sugarless gum too!
  • Chewy candy – such as Baby Ruth, Milk Duds, Laffy Taffy, Air Heads, Starburst, Tootsie Rolls, Licorice, Skittles, and Butterfingers.
  • Peanuts
  • Popcorn, Carmel Corn
  • Ice

Foods you can eat with braces:

  • Ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes
  • Chocolate – such as Hershey Bars, Reese’s Pieces, Hershey Kisses, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Chips
  • Carrots and Apples - sliced
  • Crushed or Shaved Ice

General Soreness

There might be a general soreness in the mouth for the first couple of days after you get your braces or sometimes after an appointment. Typically it is not anything that should keep you from your day to day activities although; you may not feel like having a big dinner that evening. This discomfort can usually be relieved by rinsing the mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. – dissolve 1tsp of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse vigorously.

If the discomfort is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking whatever you normally take for pain. It is not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated, they will toughen and become used to the braces in time. You will be given wax that can cover the braces to lessen any irritation. If you need additional wax, please let us know!

Brush! Brush! Brush!

When you have braces brushing is the most important thing you can do! It is important to brush and floss after you eat in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout treatment. You will receive detailed instructions on proper brushing the day you get your braces, and make sure to ask your dental assistant about TV Tooth brushing!

Tooth Token Program

Have you ever been paid to brush your teeth? At Aleman, Sternstein & McDaniel Orthodontics we do just that! We know that a healthy, beautiful smile at the end of your treatment is achieved with excellent oral hygiene. In order to achieve great results orthodontists need their patients’ cooperation to ensure orthodontic success. We have implemented a reward system for patients 18 years and under. At each appointment patients have an opportunity to earn valuable “tooth tokens”; they may collect the tokens and redeem them for some extra cash! Remember that tooth tokens will only be earned if oral hygiene is excellent and it is a regular scheduled appointment.


Download our forms so you can fill them out prior to your visit with us.

Aleman, Sternstein & McDaniel

997 Clock Tower Drive  |  Springfield, IL 62704
Phone: (217) 546-9600
Fax: (217) 546-9642

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