Keep great oral health Keeping great oral health is essential for everybody. But if you don’t do this during your treatment – which can last up to two years – you can be more at risk of oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. It also can hamper how effective the treatment is. If you don’t look after your teeth, gums and braces, it will be more difficult and may cost you more to get the smile you want. Clean your teeth and the brace thoroughly after meals. Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks, and avoid sticky and hard foods which may damage your brace.