DIET AND HYGIENE
There are certain dietary habits known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances as well as increasing the risk of dental disease. Our aim is to achieve the treatment goals with as few disturbances due to appliance breakage as possible and minimize the side effects of poor diet choices. Remember, teeth move their best in a healthy environment.
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.
The following foods can be particularly harmful to your teeth while wearing braces: Taffy and caramels; soda pop.
Braces can be dislodged and wires bent or broken while eating certain foods. Hard foods. such as nuts, hard candies, corn chips, and even crisp taco shells can harm your braces and should be avoided. Chewing ice cubes can also be very destructive to your appliances. Whole apples, raw carrots or celery must be cut to avoid damaging your braces. Chewy foods such as gum, caramels and even thick bread crusts can bend and distort wires causing treatment delays and extra visits for repairs.
Popcorn can cause harm in multiple ways. The husks from the popcorn can become lodged beneath the braces and cause irritation to the gum tissue. Unpopped kernels can shear or break off brackets as well as bend or dislodge wires.
DRINKING WITH BRACES
- Seltzer Water
- Orange Juice
- Kool Aid
- Juice Boxes
EATING WITH BRACES
- Apple Skins
- Peanut Skins
- Sunflower Seed Shells
- Sticky or Chewy Foods
- Hard or Crunchy Foods
- Peanut Butter
- Potato Chips
- Soft Tortillas
- Soft Candy
- Sugar-Free Gum
- Foods to be cut up or sliced: Corn-on-the-cob, Apples, Carrots/Celery, Fresh Vegetables
AVOID STICKY OR CHEWY FOODS
- Now and Later
- Milk Duds
- Gummy Bears
- Gum with Sugar (especially with PSA and retainers)
AVOID HARD OR CRUNCHY FOODS
- Beef Jerky
- Jaw Breakers
- Candy Apples
- Hard French Bread or Baguettes
Be sure to brush your teeth right after every meal and before you go to bed. It’s best to use a fluoride toothpaste to help fight cavities. Your orthodontist may prescribe a fluoride mouth rinse to help prevent cavities.
Try to brush like this:
- Start by brushing the outside of each tooth at least 10 times.
- Then brush where your gums and teeth meet, using a circular motion
- Brush the inside surface of each tooth at least 10 times, too.
- Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth last.
Because your toothbrush won’t reach between your teeth, brushing alone won’t keep your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing can help. A floss threader, available from us or a pharmacy helps you floss with braces on. Floss once a day like this:
- Thread floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire.
- Pull the floss between two teeth and up under your gum margins.
- Rinse with lots of clean water, and watch your teeth and braces sparkle.
Remember You should be brushing at least three times a day — once at breakfast, at lunch and before you go to bed. If you are not able to brush after you eat, be sure to rinse thoroughly with water, and NEVER skip brushing at night before you go to bed.