What Are Dos And Don’ts When Caring For Braces?

Mastering braces care isn’t just about sticking to a routine—it’s about turning daily habits into a smile’s best friend! At Ivy City Pediatric and Orthodontics, Dr. JC unravels the complexities of orthodontic upkeep with easy-to-follow advice. This guide is your toolkit for navigating braces care, ensuring they function flawlessly throughout your child’s treatment. Let’s dive into the essentials of daily brace care, setting the stage for a smooth orthodontic journey.

Daily Care Essentials

Keeping braces clean and functional starts with a robust daily hygiene routine. At Ivy City Pediatric and Orthodontics, Dr. JC emphasizes the importance of establishing consistent care habits to keep your child’s orthodontic treatment on track.


  • Brush teeth twice daily using fluoride toothpaste to protect against cavities and keep braces clean.
  • Employ a soft-bristled toothbrush or a special orthodontic brush that’s gentle on brackets and wires.


  • Avoid whitening toothpaste, which can lead to uneven coloring of teeth around the brackets.
  • Don’t rush the brushing process; ensure your child spends at least two minutes each session to thoroughly clean all areas.

These foundational habits are crucial not just for dental health but also for the integrity of the braces. Next, let’s tackle the importance of flossing and using mouthwash to complement brushing in maintaining optimal oral hygiene.

Flossing and Using Mouthwash

Effective oral hygiene goes beyond brushing, especially when managing braces. Dr. JC at Ivy City Pediatric and Orthodontics reiterates the critical role of flossing and mouthwash in preventing issues that can complicate orthodontic care.


  • Use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to navigate around wires and reach the gum line effectively.
  • Integrate a fluoride mouthwash into the daily routine to help reduce plaque buildup and strengthen tooth enamel.


  • Skip flossing due to difficulty; consistent effort is key to protecting gums and preventing buildup around braces.
  • Use alcohol-based mouthwashes that can cause dryness and irritation in the mouth.

Incorporating these practices not only keeps the teeth and gums healthy but also ensures that the braces remain clean and effective. With oral hygiene covered, let’s explore how dietary choices can significantly impact the care and longevity of your child’s braces.

Eating with Braces

Navigating the dietary do’s and don’ts with braces can be challenging but essential for maintaining their effectiveness. Dr. JC at Ivy City Pediatric and Orthodontics provides guidance to make mealtime straightforward and safe for your child’s orthodontic treatment.


  • Choose soft foods that are easy on braces, like yogurt, smoothies, and soft-cooked vegetables.
  • Cut harder foods into smaller pieces to avoid direct pressure on braces when biting.


  • Stay away from sticky, hard, or chewy foods such as caramel, nuts, and hard candies that can damage braces.
  • Avoid biting into hard fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots with front teeth; instead, cut them into bite-sized pieces.

These dietary adjustments are crucial for avoiding damage to braces and ensuring that your child’s treatment progresses smoothly. Up next, we’ll discuss the importance of safeguarding braces during physical activities to prevent unexpected damage.

What Are Dos And Don'ts When Caring For Braces?

Protecting Braces During Physical Activities

Physical activities and sports are important for children, but when braces are involved, extra precautions are necessary. Dr. JC at Ivy City Pediatric and Orthodontics highlights the importance of protecting orthodontic appliances to ensure that fun remains safe for your child’s smile.


  • Always wear a mouthguard during sports and physical activities. This simple device can prevent damage to both braces and teeth.
  • Choose a custom-fitted mouthguard from Ivy City Pediatric and Orthodontics for the best comfort and protection.


  • Engage in contact sports or activities that risk facial impact without wearing a mouthguard.
  • Use store-bought mouthguards that may not offer adequate protection or fit poorly, potentially causing more harm during impact.

Equipping your child with the right protective gear is essential for keeping their braces secure and their mouths safe during any physical activity. Now, let’s look at how regular dental visits play a crucial role in the overall success of your child’s orthodontic treatment.

Regular Dental Visits

Regular check-ups are a cornerstone of successful orthodontic treatment. Dr. JC at Ivy City Pediatric and Orthodontics emphasizes the importance of maintaining scheduled appointments to ensure your child’s braces are adjusted correctly, and their treatment progresses as planned.


  • Keep all scheduled orthodontic appointments to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments.
  • Address any concerns or issues with braces immediately to prevent minor problems from becoming major complications.


  • Miss scheduled visits, as these are vital for timely adjustments and to assess overall oral health.
  • Ignore signs of wear or discomfort between visits; prompt communication with Dr. JC can lead to quicker resolutions.

Staying diligent with orthodontic appointments not only keeps the treatment on track but also ensures that your child’s braces work effectively throughout the entire process. As we conclude, let’s review some effective strategies to encourage good oral hygiene practices in children with braces.

Encouraging Good Habits

Fostering good oral hygiene habits in children with braces is essential for their orthodontic success. At Ivy City Pediatric and Orthodontics, Dr. JC recommends using positive reinforcement to celebrate daily successes, like rewarding consistent brushing and flossing with small treats or privileges. Establishing a fun and engaging routine can also make dental care more appealing. 

Consider using toothbrushes that play music for the recommended two-minute brushing period or letting your child choose their own fun-flavored toothpaste. Making dental care a family activity can also reinforce habits, as children often mimic the behaviors they see at home. By turning dental care into a fun part of their day, you’re setting the foundation for lifelong oral health.

What Are Dos And Don'ts When Caring For Braces?

Charting a Course for Stellar Smiles

Navigating orthodontic care with braces is a true adventure in dental diligence, blending daily routines with proactive protections and positive habits. From perfecting everyday hygiene to safeguarding smiles during sports and inspiring young brushers, each element plays a pivotal role. Remember, Dr. JC and the team at Ivy City Pediatric and Orthodontics in Washington, DC, are your co-pilots on this journey. 

Curious to learn more? Contact us for your free consultation today and ensure your child’s smile is nothing short of spectacular!