Eating With Orthodontic Appliances

Diet and Oral Hygiene

There are certain dietary habits that are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances, as well as increase the risk of dental disease. We aim to achieve the treatment goals with as few disturbances as possible due to appliance breakage, and to minimize the side affects of poor diet choices. Remember, teeth move best in a healthy environment and in individuals with excellent overall health. Be sure you have a well-balanced diet.

Potential Harm to Your Teeth and Gums

Foods and drinks that may cause dental caries (cavities) should be restricted while wearing braces. Sticky food is to be avoided because of the increased risk of dental decay and appliance breakage. This type of food sticks to braces and remains on your teeth for long periods of time. If food or drinks high in sugar content are to be consumed, we advise having them with regular meals or at one given time of day. Please make sure that careful brushing and rinsing take place immediately afterwards. Between-meal snacks should be confined to foods without refined sugar, and should be followed by brushing or vigorous rinsing.

Potential Harm to Your Braces

Braces are attached to your teeth with an adhesive that normally will withstand the forces of eating. However, braces can be dislodged and wires bent or broken while eating certain foods.

Foods that are appealing, but dangerous during orthodontic treatment:
  • Chewing ice will destroy your braces.
  • Sticky food or candy of any kind (taffy, caramels, Tootsie Rolls, Gummy Bears, Now and Laters) damage appliances by bending wires and pulling cement loose.
  • Hard food or candy of any kind (Jolly Ranchers, pizza crust, hard pretzels, beef jerky, Doritos, Fritos, Cornuts, raw carrots, nuts) may do damage by bending wires, loosening cement under the bands or breaking the little brackets and tubes that are attached.
  • Foods high in sugar content (cake, cookies, ice cream) should be avoided whenever possible. If you do eat them, brush your teeth immediately. If it is not convenient to brush, then always rinse your mouth with clear water after eating sweet foods.

Remember, if you have any questions about dietary restrictions or good food choices, please ask!

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