Tips for Home Care


At Sebastopol Othodontics, we provide you with important information about Home Care. To ensure that your teeth remain healthy and not ”scarred” by plaque it is vital that you brush your teeth! Food which compacts in the brackets and between your teeth can only be removed by brushing and flossing. If plaque remains on the teeth for too long, it will leave a permanent white scar on the surface. Brushing after meals should become part of your daily schedule. Use a soft toothbrush with firm pressure and brush at a 45 degree angle to the tooth; brush in small circles above and below the brackets. Click here for visual instructions. Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. A waterpik can be a useful addition but it cannot remove the sticky plaque that adheres to the teeth. Ultrasonic toothbrushes, such as the Sonicare are great.



Flossing is an important part of keeping your teeth healthy! Flossing removes the food in between your teeth and prevents interproximal decay (decay inbetween the teeth). Flossing is important and should be done everyday. Flossthreaders will help you get the floss inbetween and under the braces. The floss threaders are reusable. Click here for visual instructions.



Please do not eat hard foods such as nuts, ice, crisp taco shells, whole apples and carrots (cut them into pieces first), hard bread crust and rolls, spareribs, corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob before eating), and popcorn.   Do not eat sticky foods: taffy, caramels, gum or sticky candy of any sort.  These types of foods risk breaking brackets and bending wires.     Also beware of nail biting and pen or pencil chewing habits, since these can damage your braces.

The damage to the braces will prolong treatment, take extra appointments and you may incur extra fees.

Use common sense about most foods.




  • Sugarless or otherwise

Sticky Foods Such as….

  • Caramels
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Starbursts
  • Carameled Apples
  • Sugar Babies
  • Licorice
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Now & Laters

Hard Foods Such as…

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Bagels
  • Bars of any type that are hard/sticky
  • Apples (don’t bite into a whole apple, cut into slices)
  • Corn on the Cob (cut off of cob)
  • Pizza Crusts
  • Carrots (uncooked) cut these up to small pieces
  • Doritos
  • Pretzels


Eat Much Less:

  • Candy
  • Ice Cream
  • Cake
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Foods with Sugar

Drink Much Less:

  • Pop
  • Drinks with Sugar

Sebastopol Orthodontics Home Care - Braces BRACES

Check braces once a week for anything loose or bent. If a bracket or band comes loose or you break a wire, please call our office so that we can arrange an appointment that is long enough to repair it. Try to explain what has happened by using the diagram provided. Be as specific as possible with the receptionist. If you lose your rubber bands, call us so we can mail you some more or drop by the office and pick some up.



After braces are placed in the mouth it is normal for the teeth to be sore for about 2 or 3 days. Tylenol or Advil will help relieve this discomfort. Some irritation to the cheeks and tongue is normal, but if you feel anything sharp is poking you or any sores are developing, please call our office at 707-829-5513.  If you feel you have an emergency and it is after hours, call our answering service at 707-861-0842.


Sebastopol Orthodontics Home Care - ElasticsELASTICS

Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force to create the right amount of pressure to move teeth. Elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day or as prescribed by Dr. Woo.  Any time that you fail to wear your elastics will only make your treatment take longer, so remember these things:

1. You are responsible for placing the elastics on your braces between appointments. Make sure to wear them as instructed. Remove them only when brushing your teeth, gums and braces after meals. Then put them back on immediately.

2. Always carry a few elastics with you, so if one breaks you can replace it right away. If your supply is low, call the office and we will mail you an additional supply of elastics.

3. If you forget to insert your elastics one day, don’t double up the next day- just follow your regular instructions.

4. Elastics become worn out. When they lose their elasticity, they don’t provide the proper pressure on your teeth and jaws. It is very important to change them as directed, even when they are not broken.

If your elastics break frequently, a wire or band loosens, or a hook breaks off – call our office. Don’t wait until your next appointment. These problems need to be corrected as soon as possible!


Sebastopol Orthodontics Home Care - RetainerRETAINERS

1. The removable appliance is carefully designed to move or to hold your teeth. It is important that it be worn according to instructions and be brought to each appointment.

2. Wear your appliance at all times, even while you are asleep. It may be removed while eating, swimming, or playing vigorous sports activities. In two or three days your speech will return to normal with the appliance in place. Avoid flipping your appliance with your tongue. This can cause damage to your teeth or breakage of your appliance.

3. Your new appliance may make your teeth sore for a day or two, especially after an adjustment. If you have a sore spot on your gums call our office so that we can adjust the appliance.

4. Clean your appliance by brushing it daily with toothpaste.  If you are wearing a bonded wire retainer behind your front teeth, be extra careful to clean the wire and the area around it. Flossing should be done every day.

5. Never wrap your appliance in a paper napkin or tissue and set it down on the table. You or someone else may throw it away. Don’t put it in your pocket when playing or you may break or lose it. Whenever it is not in your mouth it should be in its case.

6. Keep your appliance away from dogs or cats as they love to chew on them.

Sebastopol Orthodontics Home Care - Invisible Retainer7. Avoid storing them near any source of heat. Do not boil your retainer to sterilize it because it will distort or melt.

8. Disinfecting your retainer: If it needs to be disinfected then you may use 1/8 cup of bleach to 1 cup of water. Let your retainer soak in this solution for 2 minutes. (Bleach is corrosive, therefore do not leave the retainer in the bleach solution for longer then 2 minutes.) Rinse very thoroughly with water.


9. An additional charge will be incurred for lost or broken appliances.