Serious effort is needed to care for your braces, and you should start by making sure to see our Downtown Manhattan orthodontist, at Dental Specialty Associates, for each of your scheduled appointments. If you fail to keep your scheduled appointments, you may end up having to wear your braces for longer than anticipated plus you can miss out on needed maintenance due to any damage. Our educated doctors suggest you take care of your teeth as if you weren’t wearing braces by brushing after every meal and flossing. We will demonstrate the proper way to floss around your braces and how to use a small brush specifically designed for cleaning braces and getting rid of food particles brushing can miss. Contact our Downtown Manhattan orthodontist if a wire pops loose or a piece of your braces falls off so it can be repaired before the damage gets worse. We will also want to know if you play any sports where there is any danger of getting hit in your mouth and we will talk about wearing a mouth guard.In continued effort to keep your braces clean, there are some types of food that should be avoided while wearing them. Our Downtown Manhattan orthodontist informs our patients that eating foods that are not compatible with their braces can damage or dislodge them. Hard foods are notorious for dislodging braces and should never be eaten while wearing your appliance. Some prime examples of hard food to be avoided are handy candy, large nuts and hard pretzels. Other types of foods to avoid are most chewy or sticky foods such as jelly beans and tootsie rolls, beef jerky, bagels and chewing gum. Popcorn should also be avoided when wearing braces since the kernel husk frequently lodges between your tooth and gum. We will further explain that foods and beverages high in sugar content should be used sparingly. Sugar contributes to tooth decay so after drinking or eating something sugary, you should make sure to brush. If it is impossible to brush, it can help to at least “swish” and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. Some inedible items such as pens, pencils and fingernails, are often chewed and can easily damage your braces.