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Caring For Braces

Learning to care for your braces at Alameda Pediatric DentistryIt is no secret that caring for orthodontic appliances correctly can be challenging for patients of all ages. The time to learn how to do so is before you even have braces so that you can prepare yourself and your family for the extra time and precision it will take. For those who may be less than fastidious in their dental hygiene, this can be frustrating, but improper care can result in extensive and expensive damage.

Of course, Dr. Sharine Thenard will provide you with extensive instructions tailored just for you that you will need to follow. Until then, here is a little information to get you started.

Dental Hygiene With Braces

The standard for dental hygiene without braces is quite simple. Brush twice a day for about two minutes. Floss once a day, preferably at night. Do not forget to use fluoride, and rinse with mouthwash after brushing. Simple, right? Dental hygiene with braces is much more complicated because you will have to clean in and around the appliance, making sure to remove any particles that are trapped because of the hardware. You are also going to have to start carrying floss, toothpaste and a toothbrush with you because you are going to need to clean your teeth after you eat every time.

If you do not follow the recommended guidelines and are not careful, then plaque biofilm colonies will grow and produce acid. Acid eats away at your teeth and gums and you can develop chalky white spots around the hardware of the braces. The good news is that damaging your teeth can be prevented with proper care.

Tips For Proper Care

In addition to normal dental hygiene, here are a few extra tips to keep in mind:
1.  If you have elastic, remove the elastic before cleaning.
2.  If you have children make sure to supervise and guide them as they are learning the right techniques.
3.  Be gentle. If you are too forceful, it is possible to damage the appliance.
4.  Do not forget to brush all of the exposed surfaces of brackets and wires.
5.  While flossing use a floss threader so that you can accurately and thoroughly guide the floss under the wires and into the spaces between the teeth.
6.  Invest in interdental cleaners and an oral irrigation system to ensure that you are removing as much food bacteria as possible.
7.  Make sure to use fluoride, which is even more necessary with braces.
8.  If you play sports, makes sure to wear a mouth guard on the upper and lower arches.

Foods To Avoid

There is no way around the fact that if you have orthopedic appliances, there are going to be some foods that you will have to abstain from. These foods fall into three categories: sticky, hard and crunchy. Sticky food like gummy candy, peanut butter, and gum is easily trapped by the appliance hardware and is hard to clean. You will also want to avoid hard and crunchy food such as tough meat, hard raw vegetables, and ice, just to name a few. Hard and crunchy foods can damage your braces, and even crack your teeth.

If you are worried about eating the wrong thing, try not to be. Dr. Sharine Thenard will provide you with a more detailed list of foods you should avoid. Make sure to follow it!

If You Damage Your Braces

It is possible to damage your braces. You cannot fix your braces by yourself. If the braces snap or break, or if any of the hardware comes loose call us immediately at (510) 763-5437 to schedule an appointment.

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After you have orthodontic treatment completed, such as braces or aligners, you will likely be given a retainer. The retainer is meant to keep the results that you and your orthodontist worked so hard to achieve with your original treatment intact. The retainer can help to limit the amount of change that your mouth goes through, preserving your straight smile or bite. In order to keep your mouth healthy, you need to know how to care for this appliance. Click here to learn more.

Forsus Spring

A coil appliance that helps correct severe overbites. This appliance is hidden inside the cheeks and helps correct the overbite with less compliance than traditional elastics. The spring rod coils attach to a band on the upper molars on each side of a patient’s mouth, and then a metal spring is coupled to the wire on the bottom. It allows the jaw to grow properly by disrupting a bad bite and forcing the patient to bite in a more ideal way while natural body and jaw growth is occurring. Over the course of between 4 and 8 months, even some of the most severe overbites can be corrected.


This appliance is a metal tube that connects the upper and lower jaw. By adjusting this appliance, it is able to control the jaw’s position in relation to the upper teeth. Typical treatment time is about 12 months, although the timing may vary depending on your child’s needs.

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)

This widely used appliance helps to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth will fit better together. The RPE is used to treat posterior crossbite, overcrowding of the teeth and misaligned teeth.

Offering you the convenience of orthodontics at both our Oakland (510) 763-5437 and Alameda Locations (510) 521-5437



1105 Atlantic Ave, Suite 101
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 521-5437
Mon 7:40am–5pm
Tue 7:40am–5pm
Wed 7:40–5pm
Thr 7:40–5pm
Fri 7:40–5pm
Offering both pediatric dentistry and orthodontics for complete oral health care for your kids


401 Grand Ave., Suite 150
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 763-5437
Mon 7:40am–5pm
Wed 7:40am–5pm
Thr 7:40–5pm
Fri 7:40am–5pm
Sat 8am–12pm
Offering both pediatric dentistry and orthodontics for complete oral health care for your kids


2400 Balfour Road, Suite 309
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-4107
Mon 8:00am–5pm
Tue 8:00am–5pm
Wed 8:00am–5pm
Thr 8:00am–5pm
Fri 8:00am–5pm


1443 Cedarwood Ln Suite D
Pleasanton, CA 94566
(925) 846-5437
Mon 7:40am–5pm
Tue 7:40am–5pm
Wed 7:40am–5pm
Thr 7:40am–5pm
Fri 7:40am–5pm
Pleasanton Office

Alameda Pediatric Dentistry | www.alamedapediatricdentist.com | (510) 763-5437
Alameda: 1105 Atlantic Ave, Ste 101 Alameda CA 94501
Oakland: 401 Grand Ave., Suite 150 Oakland, CA 94610
Brentwood: 2400 Balfour Road, Suite 309 Brentwood, CA 94513
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