Essential Items for the Brace Wearer

Brace wearer using an interdental brushAs you adjust to your new life with braces, there are some handy items that can help to make the transition, your dental hygiene and your time spent in braces a pleasant experience.

Here are some of the essentials supplies that brace wearers should keep around for those occasions when your braces don’t stick to the plan (also called “Sunday afternoons”) as well as for correct oral care.

Minor Issues

These are couple of items that are good to keep in your medicine cabinet when you get your braces fitted.

  • OTC medications

Tylenol and Advil (as well as topical analgesics like Anbesol) can be good to keep on hand to take the edge off minor discomfort that installation and/or normal adjustments might cause.

  • Heating pad or warm wash cloth (in a pinch)

When placed over those areas causing the discomfort, they can be a nice added extra to aid the medications in their work.

  • Dental wax or cotton wool

Sometimes archwires can break or other unforeseen issues can occur, or it might be the simple adjustment period of your mouth acclimatizing itself that will cause irritations. In the short term, dental wax or cotton wool packed around the fixture in question is a great way to alleviate irritation; but make sure to let your orthodontist know about it and schedule an appointment.


This is an essential part of any healthy mouth, but especially so for those wearing braces. Food buildup between teeth and around braces needs to be managed effectively and on a daily basis. And with braces it requires a little extra time and some additional tools.

  • Floss threader

Essentially a plastic loop, it is similar to a needle’s construction only with a bigger eye. It allows the user to slip the floss behind the archwire and get it between teeth. It can take a little getting used to, but very quickly becomes second nature.

  • Interdental brush

The nifty circular brush with elongated bristles is helpful and effective in getting to those tight spots where potential plaque causing particles around the brackets and arch-wires live.

  • Waterpik

Essential might not be the best way to describe a waterpik and its effectiveness versus floss is a subject of debate, however for many brace wearers it is more efficient option and offers most of the same benefits as floss and interdental brushes. However, it is a more expensive option than its dental hygiene counterparts.

At Orthodontic Associates we look forward to seeing you smile. It is why we have 8 convenient orthodontic offices in Baltimore for you to choose from, as well as a professional staff, experienced doctors and state-of-the-art techniques and treatments for patients of all ages.


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