Home Care


Foods to

Oral Hygiene

It is very important that while you have braces on your teeth or aligners or any orthodontic appliance that you clean your teeth very well.


  1. Brushing : you need to brush your teeth a minimum of two times a day every day. The tooth brushing needs to get in behind the wire of the braces.

  2. It is equally as important to be cleaning between teeth with floss or interdental (between teeth) brushes once a day.

  3. With aligners no foods should be consumed while wearing the aligners and only water should be drunk. The same understanding for cleaning and interdental cleaning.

  4. Visiting your dentist every 6 months is still necessary.

    If cleaning and dental visits are not applied then there is a possibility of both dental decay around the braces and between the teeth.

Foods To Avoid

Braces are glued onto teeth. The glue has been developed to do no harm to the teeth and to allow removal of the braces at the end of treatment. As such the adhesive (glue) lacks strength in sideways movement. Any foods that are hard or sticky are likely to dislodge the braces and require re-gluing.

The foods to avoid are :

Hard foods

  • Ice crunching
  • Chocolate from the fridge
  • Corn on the cob
  • Uncut apples and carrots and stone fruit
  • Really crusty breads
  • Unpopped popcorn kernals
  • Nuts

Sticky foods

  • minties
  • caramel toffees
  • nougat type lollies

Nail biting and pen chewing are also to be avoided

Wearing Elastics

Braces will straighten teeth in the upper and lower teeth. Elastics are worn to help get the upper and lower sets of teeth to mesh ideally. If you are asked to wear elastics it may be  part time or full time. Your orthodontist will tell you when and where they are to be worn.

Removable Appliances

As the name suggests removable appliances can be removed from the mouth for eating and for cleaning of the teeth. When cleaning the teeth it is also necessary to clean the appliance with a toothbrush and liquid soap.


At the completion of orthodontic treatment with either braces or aligners there is a need to fit retainers. Retainers are generally made of a tough thermoplastic material and require day and night wearing for a length of time before they are swapped for a night only wear.

Because the thermoplastic material is sensitive to excessive heat they need to be kept way from hot cars, heaters, dishwashers and direct sunlight on hot days eg at the beach or at the pool.

Retainers also need to be cleaned at least once and preferably twice a day with a toothbrush and liquid soap.

If you wish to have teeth that remain straight retainer wear is an absolute requirement.

  • Here are a few important points for your retainers
  • Don’t fold it in your napkin you will leave it somewhere.
  • Don’t put your retainer in your pocket. You can sit on it, it might fall out of your pocket or may end up in the washing machine.
  • Do not take your retainer when swimming in a pool or the ocean. If it falls out you may not be able to find it.

Initially make sure your retainer is in your mouth at all times. Your retainer should only be out of your mouth when brushing, eating or playing sport.

Bring your retainers to your check-up appointment. If anything happens to your retainers (i.e. it doesn’t fit, it’s broken, or it’s lost) please call us ASAP.


There is no reason that you can’t play active sport with braces, but you may need a mouthguard.

The boil and bite mouthguards from the chemist work really well with braces.

Our preferred brand is Elastoplast (adult) in the colour clear. Bring them to your orthodontic appointments and we will mould them for you.