Patient Instructions

When you’re in braces, it’s more important to care for your braces and teeth properly by keeping everything clean and watching what you eat. While having braces is pretty easy, you may encounter an occasional bump in the road, so we’ve put together information here that should help you along the way.

The bonding material that we use to attach your brackets to your teeth is pretty strong, but continued stress to the brackets from hard or chewy foods, or a bite of something too hard or crispy can cause problems with your brackets or wires. Some foods need to be avoided eniterly like junk foods, chewing gum, popcorn, and hard candy. Dr. Maleki will provide a list of foods not to eat during your visit.

It takes a bit more effort to keep everything clean when you're in braces, and the good news is that your efforts will be rewarded! Clean teeth, with clean brackets and wires, look better and move faster! Poor oral hygiene is more than unattractive; the inflammation that results makes your teeth more resistant to movement and can slow your treatment! It is very important to spend some extra time brushing and flossing while wearing braces. Here are a few tips:


  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush.
  • Start with outsides of teeth and brush in circular motion.
  • Next, clean the area between the gums and braces by angling your brush.
  • Clean the rest of the outside of the teeth by angling the brush up for the upper jaw and down for the lower.
  • Brush the chewing surface of teeth on both the upper and lower jaws.
  • Finish by brushing the backsides of the teeth like you did for the outside.


  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Use the “super floss” we provide, or thread floss through a special threader, then use to pull the thread under the wires.
  • Pull floss between the teeth and gently move it up and down the sides of both teeth and between the gums.
  • Pull the floss out and repeat for the next tooth, using a clean section.


  • After you finish brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth gently with water or dental rinse.
  • Using an antiseptic dental rinse can help to reduce minor inflammations and irritations in the mouth as well as remove bacteria – promoting natural healing to occur.
  • Rinse once a day with fluoride rinse that we provide.

Interdental Toothbrush

  • A proxybrush is another aid to help remove food particles from your teeth and under wires. We will provide one for you to take home during your visit.
  • Use to keep teeth braces and gums clean and healthy by cleaning around brackets and under wire.
  • Make sure to use proxybrushes slowly and gently so you don’t damage your braces.

At the Washington, D.C. office of Maleki Orthodontics, we know that while orthodontic care is extremely valuable and important, it can have its surprises and sometimes emergencies arise. Here we offer some tips and advice to help.


If your teeth become sore after a visit, we generally recommend that you take a painkiller such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin). This is the protocol only if there are no known allergies to these medications. We also recommend rinsing with Peroxyl or a cup of warm water and teaspoon of salt.


If a wire causes irritation, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of the wax that we have supplied you with. If irritation persists, please call our office.

Broken Wires and Brackets

If the main wire has come out of the bracket or tube on the back molar tooth, place a piece of wax over the wire and call our office.

If a bracket comes loose from a tooth, it usually remains connected to the main wire and is not cause for an emergency visit. Please call our office the next business day, as we will need to schedule a separate visit to repair the loose bracket(s).

If your expander is loose, please call the office and we will assist you.


If our orthodontic patient has experienced any kind of trauma to the mouth, please call our office at (202) 244-3600 immediately.

Back to Top