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  • Food and plaque can get trapped in the tiny spaces between braces and wires, causing decay and enamel stains.

  • Your teen should brush after every meal and use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss (available at drug stores) at least once a day to clean between braces and under wires.

  • When your teen brushes, they should check their teeth in a mirror to make sure all food particles are gone and then rinse vigorously with water.  Use a disclosing tablet or solution.

  • Sweets should be limited. Soft drinks, like soda or pop, should be eliminated from their diet.

  • Sticky and chewy foods (caramel, taffy, chewing gum, dried fruits) can stick to braces and be difficult to remove, and they cause cavities.

  •  Biting and chewing hard foods, such as candies, nuts, or ice, can break wires and loosen brackets.

  • Help your teen avoid damaging wires on the front teeth.  Cut carrots, apples and other crunchy, healthy foods into bite-sized chunks before eating.

  • Get fluoride treatments from your dental professional.