What foods should I avoid?
That is a question everyone in orthodonic treatment should know the answers to in order to ensure that your treatment will be successful.
Hard, sticky, sugary, and highly acidic and staining foods should be avoided while wearing your braces.
Hard and sticky foods can cause brackets to pop off and wires to bend improperly. Each loose bracket may mean an added month to treatment length. When wires are bent improperly, they move teeth into a wrong position and extra time is needed to move the teeth back into their correct position, extending total treatment time. Some hard and sticky foods to avoid: popcorn (kernels can get stuck under your gums causing pain and swelling), whole nuts, brittle, corn chips, ice cubes, corn-on-the-cob, corn chips, crispy tacos and taco chips, beef jerky, hard candies, pizza with hard crust, gum, taffy, licorice, skittles, starbursts, gummy bears, caramels, “Laffy Taffy”, “Tootsie Roll Pops”, popcorn balls, caramel apples and other similar hard/sticky foods. Be very careful with healthly foods that are large or crunchy by cutting them into small bite size pieces and placing them on the sides of your mouth (carrots, apples, hard french bread crusts etc.)
Highly acidic foods such as lemons, limes, lots of orange juice and soft drinks are hard on tooth enamel and can be very destructive to your appliances and teeth. Frequent exposure to such acidic substances will loosen your orthodontic cement and cause breakage of the appliances. even without orthodontic appliances, citric acids can cause tooth destruction by dissolving tooth enamel.
Do not put anything into your mouth that will tend to break, pry, pull or knock off the braces. Chewing ice cubes can also be quite destructive to your braces and tooth enamel.
Staining foods (tomato sauce, mustard, coffee, tea, red juices and wines) may cause clear and light-colored ties to discolor. We suggest choosing dark, opaque ties to avoid lots of staining between appointments (we do change ties at each regular appointment). Even with the self ligating brackets which are commonly used now, staining foods may also cause excess tooth staining requiring more frequent hygiene appointment with your general dental office. Great dental hygiene is especially important during orthodontic treatment.
As always, if anything unexpected occurs, please inform our office at (408) 225-6660 and we can schedule an appointment to repair any troublesome mishaps. Thanks & best of success with your orthodontic treatment.
Sugary foods greatly increase the probability that decay will occur and while in orthodontic treatment, should be avoided. Brushing and flossing with braces takes time. Plaque left on the teeth combines with sugar to cause permanent white spots of decalcification around the edges of the brackets. Fluoride brushing gel helps prevent this, but not eating sugary foods or drinking sugary beverages, in combination with thorough daily brushing and flossing, is the very best!