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Instructions While Wearing Braces from our San Jose Orthodontist

For new patients, wearing orthodontic appliances can be challenging to get used to. Explore this page for care instructions from our Board Certified Orthodontist and call Care Orthodontics if you have additional questions.

Eating with Braces

What can you eat: For the first few days, stick with soft foods

What to avoid: chewy foods (bagels, licorice, beef jerky…), crunchy foods (popcorn, ice, tortilla chips…), sticky foods (caramels, sticky candies, chewing gums…), hard foods (nuts, hard candies, apples, hard pretzels…)

Learn How to Eat with Braces in San Jose

Care of Appliances

Damaged appliances lengthen treatment time. To shorten your treatment time, you need to take care of your appliances such as avoid eating foods that can cause damage to your appliances and brackets, and to follow your doctor’s instructions (wearing rubber bands, headgear and/or removable appliances…)

Brushing and Flossing

Braces Maintenance in San Jose - Cleaning & More

It is important to brush and floss regularly with braces. Without good hygiene, plaque accumulation around the braces can damage your dental enamel to cause decalcification, stains, and caries. Adults with a history of periodontal disease should be closely monitored and received periodontal maintenance by their dentist.

Interdental Brush

Use this brush to clean under wires and between braces.

Fluoride Rinse

Use this rinse at night after brushing and flossing to strengthen enamel and reduce risks of enamel decalcification.


Apply wax in annoying areas to reduce discomfort.

Disclosing Tablets

After brushing, chew on this tablet, squish around with tongue then check with a mirror. Old plaque stains blue. New plaque stains red. Check with a mirror to note which area that you missed during brushing. Brush and floss again thoroughly to remove stains.

Floss Threaders

Use this threader to floss in between braces and under your wires. It is very important that you floss at least one a day, before going to bed.

Mouth Guards

If you participate in a contact sport, you need to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and brackets. You can obtain a mouthguard from a local drug store or at our office.

Regular Dental Visits

Please brush your teeth immediately prior to each appointment or after you checked in for your appointments. Disposable brushes, floss and Listerine are available at tooth brushing areas in our office.

What to do for Braces Emergencies

Below is additional information on how to handle irritation and discomfort.

Teeth tenderness can occur for about 4-5 days after the initial placement of the orthodontic appliances and also after each adjustment. This discomfort is similar to the feeling of a headache. Discomfort can be relieved by over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil, or Ibuprofen. Please follow the dosage recommended on the bottle. A warm washcloth can be placed over the jaw to relieve discomfort.

Irritation of cheek tissues can occur after initial placement of braces. Placing wax over the areas of irritation can reduce discomfort. Rinsing with warm salt water can also soothe the cheek lining. As time goes by, the cheek tissues will toughen up and sensitivity will decrease.

Sometimes a wire will break or come out of the brackets or bands and may cause discomfort.A pokey wire can be cut using a clean nail clipper. A sticky end can be bent using a pencil end. Loose bands and brackets can occur if you accidentally bite into hard food or play rough sports. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. You can buy a mouthguard from your local sport store. Our office can adjust the mouthguard for you to fit over your braces appliance. Loose separators can occur and you can re-insert the separators yourself or call the office to have it replaced.

Many times repairs can be put off until your next regular appointment. Please call our office if you need any repair so that we can block out additional time for your repair.

Repair a Pokey Braces Wire With Nail Clipper Bend a Sticky End Using a Pencil Orthodontic Repairs in San Jose

Some inconveniences while going through treatment are normal. While we know that orthodontic "emergencies" are not life-and-death situations, we recognize that certain situations may cause discomfort. Of course, we are here to serve you and encourage you to call any time if you have a question.

We have staff and call service to answer the phone from Monday- Friday, 9am-5pm and staff are available Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm to help you eliminate any discomfort. If you call after-hours, please leave a message or send us an email and we will call you back within 24 hours to provide you with assistants.


Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.


Having braces was a life changing experience!!! You make my teeth look beautiful.

Helen Reyes

Thanks for all your hard work and continuing to make people's smiles better.

Can Do

Everyone here is really friendly!

Carlos Lopez

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