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Braces Care and Foods to Avoid

Caring for Braces

The healthier your teeth are the more effective the orthodontics applicances are at aligning your teeth. Patients are able to eat or drink most foods while in orthodontic treatment. Dr. Kunik would like you to avoid certain eating habits that are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances and braces as well as increasing the risk of dental problems. His aim is to allow you to achieve the treatment goals with as few disturbances due to appliance breakage as possible. Minimizing the side effects of poor food choices and poor oral hygiene will also aid in the timely completion of your treatment. Remember, teeth move their best in a healthy environment and in individuals with excellent overall dental heath.

What foods should I avoid?
Sticky foods are to be avoided because of the increased risk of dental decay and appliance breakage. These foods stick to your braces and remain on your teeth for long periods of time.

Foods or drinks that are high in sugar content should be avoided or immediately followed by rinsing. Snacks should be confined to foods without refined sugar and should be followed by brushing or vigorous rinsing if a toothbrush is unavailable.

Wearing braces limits the foods that you are permitted to eat. Improper foods can bend and distort wires causing treatment delays and extra visits for repairs. In general hard, brittle, crunchy and sticky foods should NOT be eaten during orthodontic treatment. Whole fruits and vegetables or any raw foods such as apples should be sliced and eaten carefully. Hard crusty breads should be broken and eaten in small pieces. Corn is best eaten after it is sliced off the cob.

Avoid lemons or limes (citric acid in juice can dissolve tooth enamel). Chewing ice cubes can be very destructive to your appliances and teeth. Do not put anything in your mouth that may tend to end, break, pry, pull or knock off the braces. Popcorn can cause harm in multiple ways. The husks from the popcorn can become lodged beneath the braces and cause irritation of the gum tissue. Unpopped kernels can shear or break off brackets as well as bend or dislodge wires.

Here are some foods to avoid:

Hard Foods:
Nuts, peanut brittle
Hard candy
Corn chips

Sticky Foods:

Fruit Roll-ups
Gummy bears
Milk Duds

Be careful with these foods:
Carrots - grate or cut into tiny pieces
Apples - cut into slices first
Hard French bread - tear into small pieces

Regular Dental Checkups - Although you are having your braces checked regularly, it is very important to continue to see your family dentist at least every six months for a thorough examination and cleaning of your teeth. If you experience difficulty with good oral hygiene you my need to see your dentist more frequently.