The Do’s & Don’ts of Wearing Braces

When your smile is undergoing an orthodontic transformation for perfectly straight teeth, there are some do’s and don’ts you should know so you have a pleasant, beneficial experience. At Saddle Creek Orthodontics, we’re passionate about providing top-notch orthodontic care and empowering our patients with the knowledge to make their treatment as effective and comfortable as possible. So, without further ado, here are the do’s and don’ts of wearing braces!

What Are Braces?

Think of braces as the ramp and bumpers at a bowling alley. Like how that equipment guides the bowling ball, braces are orthodontic appliances designed to gently guide your teeth into a picture-perfect alignment.

There are many types of braces, and we’re proud to offer various kinds to give our patients the most options. More options mean we can treat more issues and help more people achieve their dream smiles! Before we dive into the do’s and don’ts of braces, let’s check out some of our different choices so you know which advice applies to your situation.

Types Of Braces

  • Traditional Metal Braces: The classic choice, known for their strength and durability, making them perfect for patients of all ages. Metal braces are the most common treatment method and are easily identifiable by their silver brackets and colorful ligatures. 
  • Clear Braces: These are like metal braces, only without the eye-catching silver and ligatures. Instead, clear braces use clear or tooth-colored brackets that blend in with your teeth, making them a less noticeable alternative to metal braces.
  • Invisalign Clear Aligners: A virtually invisible solution, Invisalign clear aligners are custom-made to fit snugly over your teeth, offering comfort and flexibility with the benefit of being removable for eating and brushing. No brackets, wires, or ligatures here!

How Do Braces Work?

By magic! 

…Okay, so it’s not exactly like Hogwarts. We can’t improve your smile with the flick of a wand. Still, we have the next best thing—the incredible collaboration of the body and technology, which is pretty magical if you ask us.

All our braces—metal, clear, and removable—work by applying pressure to the teeth to gently move them into their new locations. This pressure causes the body to do something called bone remodeling, which is the breaking down and rebuilding of bone to allow for teeth movement. It’s like that scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when Hagrid took Harry to Diagon Alley for the first time. Using his umbrella wand (your braces), he made the bricks move (bone breaking down) so he and Harry (your teeth) could change locations. Then the bricks reformed (bone rebuilding) to stop them from backpedaling (holding your teeth in place)!

Super cool, right?

The Do's & Don'ts of Wearing Braces

The Do’s!

Now that you know which braces you have, let’s start with the do’s—things you need to do while in treatment.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Keeping your teeth clean is important whether your braces are fixed or removable. Food loves to hide in the nooks and crannies of your mouth and braces, leading to plaque and potential oral health issues like bad breath and gum disease. 

Brush your teeth gently but thoroughly at least twice daily, and don’t forget to floss every day. Yes, flossing with fixed braces is a bit of a hassle, but tools like floss threaders or water flossers can be game-changers. Also, rinse with mouthwash to eliminate any lingering food particles and keep your mouth fresh and clean. 

Attend Regular Orthodontic Appointments

Your check-ups with Dr. Kyle and Dr. Boling are crucial to ensure your treatment is on track and make any necessary adjustments to your braces. Skipping appointments could extend your treatment time, so be sure to make time for them! Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to ask questions or express thoughts about your treatment progress. Choosing not to attend your check-ups is like trying to pass a college exam without going to class…taking the exam will take longer, be more frustrating, and have a higher risk of being unsatisfied with your results.

Use Wax To Manage Discomfort

Braces and clear aligners can sometimes irritate your cheeks or lips, especially when you first get them or after an adjustment. Orthodontic wax will be your best friend in these moments. All you need to do is roll a small piece into a ball, flatten it, and cover the offending bracket, wire, or aligner section. Ta-da! Instant relief—like when Professor Lockhart helped Harry’s broken arm by removing the bones; it prevented pain or discomfort, but it wasn’t a complete fix! 

Mouthguards Are A Must

If you play sports or are involved in any activity where there’s a risk of getting hit in the mouth, a mouthguard is essential. It’ll protect your braces and your mouth from damage and injuries. Ask our team about special orthodontic mouthguards designed to fit over braces so you can stay active and safe. Harry Potter would never be on the Quidditch pitch without his gear, and neither should you!

Do Use Your Aligner’s Protective Case

If you’re an Invisalign user, those aligners can easily be lost, damaged, or broken when you take them out to eat or brush. Always use their protective case to keep them safe. It’s way too easy to wrap them in a napkin and accidentally toss them out (yep, it happens more than you’d think), for a dog to chew them up or to get squished in a bag, and for them to become lost forever if you don’t use the case. 

And if you’re insistent that you never, ever, ever lose anything, please use the case to at least protect them from germs! 

The Do's & Don'ts of Wearing Braces

The Don’ts!

Now, let’s move on to the don’ts, things you shouldn’t do when you’re going through treatment.

Not Follow A Braces-Friendly Diet

Your metal and clear braces are tough, but they’re not invincible. To avoid damaging them, steer clear of hard, sticky, or chewy foods. Treats like caramel, popcorn, and hard candies? It’s best to break up with them for a while. Say yes to soft foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, and steamed veggies. Cut foods into small, bite-sized pieces and chew with your back teeth to avoid putting strain on your front brackets. Your braces will thank you, and you’ll prevent avoidable inconveniences like discomfort from broken braces or emergency appointments. 

Can You Get Cavities With Braces? 

Of course you can! Remember, having an orthodontist is no excuse to break up with your dentist! Because you can still get oral health issues like tooth decay with braces, you must continue to see your regular dentist for cleanings and oral exams. Think of your orthodontist and dentist like Harry, Hermione, and Ron—they work better together!

Don’t Ignore Loose Or Broken Brackets—But Don’t Do DIY Repairs, Either

If you notice a loose bracket on your braces or a wire has snapped, don’t wait it out or try to fix it yourself. Unlike when Hermione fixed Harry’s glasses, there is no fix you can do without the help of a professional orthodontist. These issues can hinder your treatment progress and may even lead to discomfort or injury. Contact Saddle Creek Orthodontics as soon as possible. We’re the pros at making quick, safe repairs to get your treatment back on track. 

The Do's & Don'ts of Wearing Braces

Visit Saddle Creek Orthodontics For More Braces Tips!

Incorporating braces care into your daily routine can take some getting used to at first. Fortunately, it’s 100% worth it in the long run!

For more braces dos and don’ts, visit or call Saddle Creek Orthodontics in Germantown or Collierville. To get started with your braces experience, schedule a free in-person or virtual consultation today.