Ronald C. Kobernick, DDS, MScD, PA
10601 Seminole Blvd, Largo, FL & 111 2nd Avenue NE, St. Petersburg, FL

Orthodontic Care

You will notice that it is much harder to keep your teeth clean if fixed braces are used. Food compacts in the brackets and between your teeth, and can only be removed by brushing and flossing. If plaque remains on the teeth for any length of time, it may leave a permanent white scar on the surface or create periodontal (gum) problems. 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 with a very short horizontal stroke above and below the brackets. Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. Sonicare or Oral B/Braun electric tooth brushes can be useful additions to your cleaning efforts. Daily flossing is an essential part of your cleaning routine, using floss threaders if necessary.

Use a daily Fluoride rinse (Periomed) or Fluoride paste (Control RX) to reduce the damaging effect of plaque. We can dispense either of those products as you need them.


Brushing and Flossing

Brush after every meal.

Use a soft toothbrush with a small amount of non-abrasive toothpaste.

Use a short horizontal stroke at the gumline for about 7 seconds in each area, with the tooth brush moving only far enough to clean approximately two teeth at a time

Floss daily to remove the plaque between the teeth, areas which are not cleanable with brushing.

Carefully pull the floss between archwires and brackets. Move the floss up and down in each area 6-7 times, cleaning both teeth in each interproximal (between two teeth) areas. Be gentle to not hurt the gum tissue.


  • Proper Oral Hygiene
  • Improper Brushing and Flossing

Eating Habits

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

Absolutely No

  • Gum:Sugarless or otherwise
  • Sticky Foods:
    Sugar Daddies
    Caramel Apples
    Sugar Babies
    Tootsie Rolls
    Now & Laters
  • Hard Foods:
    Corn on the Cob
    Pizza Crusts
    Carrots (uncooked)

Minimize Sugar Intake

Eat Much Less

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

Drink Much Less

  • Soda
  • Drinks with Sugar

Orthodontic Emergencies

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 to repair it. 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.

Sore Teeth

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 (727) 397-8503.

First Aid

If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-Tip. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of sugarless gum until you can see us for an adjustment.

If the main wire has come out of the tube on your back molar tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nosed pliers or tweezers. If the wire is not sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area.  If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter close to the back of the last brace. This is a last resort if professional help is unavailable.

If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire by a little rubber colored ring. Eyebrow tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office and inform us of your situation.

If a piece of your braces breaks, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.

If a retainer cracks, remove the retainer from your mouth and bring all the pieces to our office for repair.

Take Aspirin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen (unless you are allergic to any of those medications) if your teeth are sore after a monthly visit.
If you teeth get sore suddenly in the middle of the month, give us a call. It is unusual for the teeth to get sore several weeks after your last office visit.

If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food.

10601 Seminole Blvd., Largo, FL 33778 P: 727-397-8503 F: 727-398-2679

390 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 P: 727-397-8503