How To Maintain Good Oral Health With Orthodontic Treatment

Starting your smile journey can initially feel intimidating with everything you need to accustom yourself to. However, Petrunic Orthodontics is here to help you adjust and make the process as comfortable and easy as possible. Our team is here to share how to maintain good oral health with orthodontic treatment, including the importance of drinking water, what to include in your oral hygiene routine, and attending your follow-up appointments.

Staying Hydrated During the Day

Amazingly so, drinking water is one of the best natural ways to protect your teeth. It contains a natural mineral called fluoride, the same ingredient in many toothpastes, that cleans them of plaque, bacteria, and stains. Drinking water during the day even dilutes the acids created in your mouth from sugary foods, preventing cavities. Keeping a bottle with you as often as possible will strengthen your teeth and benefit your general health. 

Understanding Your Eating Restrictions

Some food restrictions come with wearing metal or clear braces to protect your appliance and teeth. They are not built to withstand the pressures of chewing. That being said, particular foods can cause appliance breakage or damaged teeth. We recommend sticking to safe foods throughout this time to keep your treatment on track and prevent any avoidable complications from arising that would extend your time wearing your appliance.

Your Choice of Foods

Dr. Petrunic recommends sticking to soft foods that are easy to chew and digest. Tender chicken, pasta, soft cookies, mashed potatoes, bananas, and more are safe to keep in your cupboard and maintain your nutrition. Our team will happily provide you with a more thorough list so you can stock up your kitchen with your favorites before your braces are placed. We are always happy to give suggestions for meal ideas as well!

Avoid anything super sticky or crunchy, as it could break a wire or misplace a bracket. Unfortunately, foods such as popcorn, raw veggies, nuts, potato chips, and corn on the cob must stay in the cupboard for a while. If your favorite food is something that should be avoided, we promise the wait to eat it again will be worth it upon seeing the results of your new smile.

Think About Your Daily Nutritional Intake

Keeping your nutrition in mind during your smile journey is essential. One of the many ways to maintain the strength of your teeth and overall oral health is a healthy, balanced diet to protect your gums from common complications like gum disease and balance the acid levels in your mouth to prevent cavities. Nutrition and your care routine work together to keep your treatment on track.

How To Maintain Good Oral Health With Orthodontic Treatment

Dedicate Time to Your Oral Hygiene Routines


One of the best ways to keep your teeth clean and healthy is by brushing them each morning and night. Doing so preserves their functionality and strength in the long term, so your original teeth last a lifetime. Dr. Petrunic recommends brushing twice daily, but wearing an appliance calls for it more often. After each meal, a quick but thorough brush is critical.

Using non-abrasive tools such as a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste rid your mouth of lingering bacteria and plaque buildup. They work to protect your gums and appliance from suffering any damage as well as reaching areas of your teeth you may otherwise not be able to reach. While wearing braces, you will likely go through toothbrushes more quickly than usual, so always have a replacement handy to continue regular cleanings. 


Before your teeth reach their ideal alignment, you will continue to get small pieces of food stuck between them after meals. Being sure to remove these pieces at the end of each day helps to slow down bacteria growth. If a piece of food is left in your mouth for too long, it can negatively affect your breath and lead to tooth decay.

Adding flossing to your oral hygiene routine at least once a day helps to protect against rapid tooth decay and keep your breath naturally fresh. Doing so at night is typically best, but getting the job done at any point in the day will still benefit your health. 

If your appliance uses wires, like metal braces, you cannot reach down your teeth with a plain string of floss. Instead, Petrunic Orthodontics will provide a special threader you can use to weave between each tooth and to give them a thorough cleaning.

Tongue Scraper

Brushing your teeth does a great job of ridding your mouth of harmful bacteria, but if you don’t directly use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue, enough bacteria can remain to cause harm. This final step takes only a minute and can protect your teeth even longer!


Using mouthwash is a great way to bolster your oral hygiene routine and supplement your health by removing plaque, preventing cavities, fighting tooth decay, and freshening up bad breath. Many formulas contain fluoride, the same ingredient in toothpaste, which builds your protection and preserves your enamel.

Attend Your Follow-Ups

Throughout treatment, Dr. Petrunic will have you schedule follow-up appointments every three to six weeks, depending on your appliance and specific needs. We use this dedicated time to check on the health of your teeth and see if any issues or adjustments need to be addressed. The earlier we can spot something, the simpler time you will have throughout treatment. 

We ask that you keep these appointments as best as possible as they are intentionally spaced out, but we understand that sometimes unexpected things prevent you from attending. Please let our front desk know as soon as possible so we can help you find a better time!

How To Maintain Good Oral Health With Orthodontic Treatment

Petrunic Orthodontics is Here to Support You!

You can count on your team at Petrunic Orthodontics to help you every step of the way through treatment. We are always happy to answer questions or concerns, whether you are in the treatment chair or over the phone. Our team proudly serves the community of Prattville and those surrounding our area. Schedule your free consultation with Dr. Petrunic to start treatment today!