Life with Braces

Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces

For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Minimize Sugary Foods like:

  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Only Once a Day:

  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar

Foods you CAN Eat:

  • Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads - muffins without nuts, soft tortillas, pancakes
  • Grains - pasta, rice
  • Meats/poultry - soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood - tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Soft Vegetables
  • Fruits - applesauce, bananas

It’s important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, call our office immediately to arrange an appointment for repair.

Sore Teeth and Mouth

Right after you get your braces, and sometimes after you have an adjustment appointment, your teeth and mouth will likely feel sore. To alleviate the pain, you may gargle lukewarm saltwater, which is a mixture of one teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of water. You can also take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.

Loose Brackets or Bands

Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.

Caring for Your Appliances

Patient cooperation is a big part of successful orthodontic treatment. Please be sure to wear your appliance as prescribed, including your rubber bands, headgear, retainer or other appliance, If your braces break, this will only prolong your treatment time.