Patient Tips

Do’s and Don’ts for Ortho Patients


  • Always remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. You’ll find detailed instructions for brushing here.
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Also, ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This is another way to prevent cavities.
  • Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also soak it in denture cleaner. Never put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.

Foods to Avoid

  • Avoid foods with lots of sugar. They increase the amount of bacteria growing in your mouth, causing plaque and possibly cavities.
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, Laffy Taffy, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, popcorn, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, whole apples, etc.).


  • If you take out your retainer to eat, remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
  • Be sure to schedule routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.