Brushing & Flossing

Brushing and flossing your teeth while wearing braces is even more important then before. Braces provide extra area for food materials to adhere to.

  1. Rinse - Before you brush, rinse your teeth with water. This will help to loosen food stuck in and arround the braces.
  2. Brush Gums - Start brushing your gumline at a 45° angle.
  3. Brush Top of Brackets - Angle your toothbrush down and brush on top of each bracket.
  4. Brush Bottom of Brackets - Brush the bottom of the bracket and the wire, angling the toothbrush up.
  5. Be Thorough - Brush every tooth at the gumline as well as above and below the brackets.

Flossing with braces can seem dificult, however, with the help of an orthodontic floss threader this process can be made easier. Be sure to floss between all of your teeth

Brushing and Flossing with Braces

Eating with Braces

Having braces requires to be cautious of what foods you eat. Hard foods may do damage by bending wires, loosening cement under the bands and/or brackets. Sticky foods may damage appliances by bending wires and pulling cement loose. Avoid foods high in sugar content whenever posible. If you do eat any of them,, eat them only at the end of a meal and brush your teeth immediatly. If it is not convenient to brush, then always rinse your mouth with water after eating very sweet foods like candy and soda. Damage to braces may result in treatment taking longer to complete.

Foods To Stay Away From

It is important to not eat the following foods, as they can cause damage to your braces.

  • All Sticky Candy
    Including: Caramel, Toffee, Now & Laters, Sugar Daddys, Sugar Babies, Skittles, Sarburst, Gummy bears, Gummy worms, Fruit roll ups
  • Popcorn
  • All Nuts
    Including: Sunflower Seeds, Pecans, Peanuts, Cashews, Walnuts, and Corn Numts
  • All Hard Candy
    Including: Jolly Ranchers, Lifesavers, Pepermints, Lollipops
  • Ice
  • Pizza Crust Edges
  • Bagels
  • Beef Jerky

Foods to Eat with Care

Some foods require minor modification in order to eat them without damaging your braces. These foods need to be either cut into bight size pieces or cut off the bone prior to taking a bite.

  • Whole crispy fruits & vegetables
  • Hard, crusty breads
  • Corn chips and potato chips
  • Corn on the cob (cut corn from cob to eat)
  • Meat on the bone

Sugary drinks and sodas should be limited to special occasions. Sucking on high citris fruits like lemons and lines should be avoided as it will harm tooth enamel.

Your Brackets Can Fall Off

  • Most of the times, broken brackets are NOT an emergency.
  • We will give you a notice if there is a particularly important bracket that must stay on the tooth.
  • Feel free to give us a call if it bothers you. Otherwise, don’t worry ! The broken bracket will be fixed at the next appointment.
  • Use mouthguards for sports activities.
braces for athletes

Tips for Athletes

We are often asked by parents if there child can play sports and if there are any limitations they should be aware of. While wearing braces a child or adult can continue playing sports, however, extra caution needs to be taken to protect both the teeth and the lips from injury. Traditional mouth guards are not made to accommodate braces and may interfere with the tooth movement. The best solution is to use an orthodontic mouth guard. If you have questions about selecting a proper mouth guard please ask us, and we would be happy to help.

Playing an Instrument

Playing musical instruments are truely a talent, they can require the use of muscles in the face and lips, the toung and even the teeth. Depending on which musical instrument you play, you may find that it takes a bit to get use to playing with braces. Some instruments, such as woodwinds may take an adjustment period of a few days to a week to be back to norall again, where as some brass instruments you may find to be more difficult to get use to.

If you are or your child is a musician be sure to talk to Dr. Sung about options that may help. Since orthodontics have become more common, many band teachers can provide guidance for adjusting how you play your instrument to accomidate your braces.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today!

Our orthodontic consultations are free and require no commitments.

What to expect during your orthodontic consultation

Your consultation will give you the opportunity to meet our Orthodontist, Dr. Jay Sung, and our team, and discuss any questions you may have, and learn what treatment options are available for you or your child.


1502 Bishop Rd SW
Tumwater, WA 98512

phone numbers

Tumwater: (360) 347-2560

keep in touch

We are happy to answer your questions at