How Do I Take Care of My Braces?

Starting braces at Moffett & Walley Orthodontics is the exciting first step in your braces transformation! Whether you’re adjusting to metal braces, ceramic braces, or clear aligners, the path to a perfect smile involves more than just waiting—it requires your active participation. That’s why the second step in your new smile journey is learning about braces care! Knowing how to take care of braces can make or break your orthodontic experience, but it’s not as challenging or time-consuming as that might sound. 

How To Clean Your Fixed Braces

Remember those weekends you spent helping your grandmother clean her house? Though it probably wasn’t your favorite weekend, it wasn’t that bad. Vacuuming, cleaning the mirrors, and picking up all the toys you left last time weren’t that hard. Things went smoothly.

Then, one weekend, she told you to dust her ornate furniture carefully. It’s covered in nooks and crannies with hard-to-reach places, and cleaning it wasn’t something she ever asked you to do. Suddenly, you froze. What do you do? She warned you that you must be thorough because any dust you left behind could damage the wood. This was a lot of pressure…

At first glance, cleaning your teeth and braces can be daunting—maybe even intimidating, just like cleaning grandma’s prized wooden furniture. Fortunately, cleaning your fixed braces isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Here’s how you can keep your braces squeaky clean:

  • Brushing with Braces
    • You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a bi-level toothbrush. It can be manual or electric.
    • Brush after every meal to prevent food particles from sticking to your braces. (This habit also helps to preserve the aesthetic of your clear braces for longer between appointments.)
    • Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to clean around the wires and brackets of your braces.
    • Brush above and below the brackets to remove all plaque and debris.
  • Flossing With Braces
    • Flossing twice a day is essential, especially with braces. Waxed floss is ideal for braces care, and floss threaders can make it easier to get around the brackets.
    • Gently move the floss around the sides of each tooth and under the gum line. 
    • Use a water flosser to remove food debris, plaque, and bacteria in hard-to-reach areas. They’re also fantastic at keeping the gumline spotless!

How To Take Care of Braces

How To Care For Your Fixed Braces

Keeping your metal and clear braces in tip-top shape requires more than just performing stellar oral hygiene. These durable orthodontic appliances will be with you all day, every day, and you’ll need to adjust your daily lifestyle and routine.

To keep you comfortable and protect your braces throughout your orthodontic experience, here are some more braces care tips:

Are you an athlete? Wear a mouthguard!

If you’re active in sports, wearing a mouthguard is crucial to protect your braces and mouth from injury. Ask Dr. Moffett how to get an orthodontic mouthguard at your next appointment. They are designed to fit over braces and are your best bet for safety and comfort.

Take your braces care kit everywhere you go!

  • Portable Toothbrush: Keep a small toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste in your kit for brushing after meals when you’re not home.
  • Dental Floss and Floss Threaders: You don’t want food stuck in your teeth or braces all day! Floss will help keep your mouth clean.
  • Interproximal Brush: This tiny brush is perfect for removing debris from under wires and around brackets.
  • Wax: Orthodontic wax stops brackets or wires from irritating your cheeks or gums.
  • Mirror: A compact mirror can give you a visual of hard-to-see areas in the mouth and be helpful when no bathroom is nearby.

Be careful with your meals!

Watching what you eat is an important part of braces care. Hard, crunchy, sticky, chewy, or tough food can dislodge your brackets from your teeth and harm your wires. Damaged braces can be uncomfortable, require unplanned and urgent orthodontic appointments, and delay your treatment. To avoid braces emergencies, say a temporary goodbye to popcorn, nuts, chips, hard candies, gum, meat with bones, taffy, whole apples, and other potential risks. Instead, we suggest soft, bite-sized food that won’t put pressure on your brackets.

Your braces broke—now what?

At Moffett & Walley Orthodontics, we do everything possible to ensure you are well-equipped to care for your braces. And we know you’ll do an excellent job following your braces care instructions! However, we also know that sometimes, life happens. Maybe you ate something you weren’t supposed to or forgot your mouthguard at home. Whatever the reason, let’s imagine you have broken braces. Here’s how to handle them:


  • Don’t try to reglue or remove dislodged brackets! 
  • Don’t try to remove an archwire!


  • Contact Moffett & Walley Orthodontics ASAP. Be honest about the condition of you and your braces and how it happened. The more information we have, the better advice we can give you.
  • Leave all repairs to Dr. Moffett.
  • Use ice packs, Orajel, or OTC pain medications to manage pain and discomfort.
  • Use orthodontic wax to hold a dislodged bracket or wire in place.
  • Use orthodontic wax to prevent irritation from a broken wire or bracket.
  • Carefully cut protruding wires.

How To Take Care of Braces

How To Clean Your Clear Aligners

Now, let’s go back to your grandma’s house. Let’s say she asked you to clean the glass cabinet. This task is relatively quick and easy, but you could ruin the glass if you aren’t careful. The same is true for clear aligners! Cleaning your Invisalign clear aligners is super simple, but you still need to be mindful of what you’re doing to avoid scratching, warping, or discoloring the transparent trays. 

You can clean your clear aligners by soaking them with Invisalign Cleaning Crystals or using a soft-bristled, manual toothbrush (not the one you use for your teeth) and scent-free antibacterial soap to brush them gently. After cleaning, let them air dry completely before wearing them again.

Keeping your aligners clean is required for not only braces care but also for your oral health! It only takes a few minutes, and you’ll be glad you did. We guarantee it’s worth the effort!

How To Care For Your Clear Aligners

The removability of Invisalign trays comes with a different set of responsibilities than metal or clear fixed braces. For example, you don’t have to worry about what you eat, but you need to remember to remove the aligners when you eat.

A critical part of braces care for clear aligners is knowing what to do with your trays when you’re not wearing them. Always, always, always put them in their protective case when they’re not in your mouth! The case protects your aligners from physical damage, loss, and germs. Broken, lost, or dirty Invisalign aligners can result in longer treatment times and oral health issues. They can also put your treatment results at risk! Don’t just put your aligners down; protect your smile investment by putting them away for safekeeping.

How To Take Care of Braces

For More Information On Braces Care, Contact Us At Moffett & Walley Orthodontics!

Transitioning into braces can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. At Moffett & Walley Orthodontics, we take pride in eliminating guesswork for our patients by being readily available to answer any questions thoroughly. You can feel confident every step of the way with us on your team. 

If you have any questions about braces care or orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact our Madison or Clinton offices! We’re always happy to help!