protecting your braces and foods to avoid:

How to Protect and Care for Your Braces

Your braces are strong but they are not indestructible! They can be broken and become detached from your teeth. In general you should avoid eating hard or sticky chewy foods. You will be given much more specific instructions at your braces appointment. Remember that braces do not fall off by themselves. Once they are on your teeth, they should stay on until Dr. Patel removes them, however, eating the wrong foods may lead to appliance breakage and delay your orthodontic treatment!

Eating Habits

Please do not eat hard foods: nuts, ice, crisp taco shells, whole apples and carrots (cut them into pieces first), hard French bread crust and rolls, spareribs, corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob before eating), and popcorn! These foods can cause breakage of the brackets and wires. Also, beware of nail biting and pen or pencil chewing habits, since these can damage your braces. Do not eat sticky foods: taffy, caramels, bubble gum, or sticky candy of any sort. Use common sense about most foods.

Excessive broken appliances due to careless chewing habits may result in additional charges for repair.

The following is a list of foods that should be avoided or minimized while wearing orthodontic appliances. Some of the items listed below may damage the enamel, cause “cavities”, teeth decalcification (combined with poor oral hygiene), and teeth discoloration

We suggest that you avoid the following habits:

  • Smoking or use of tobacco products
  • Nail Biting
  • Chewing on Pencil or pen
  • Lip biting/lip sucking

We suggest that you regularly:

  • Brush after every meal.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Use fluoride containing mouthrinse or gel at least once a day.
  • Perform a braces appliance check daily to make sure nothing is loose or broken or poking.
  • Follow the orthodontist instructions. If you feel you are unable to follow the instructions, notify your orthodontist immediately or your parents, so that we can discuss alternative options, if applicable.
  • Visit your family dentist or your periodontist (“gum specialist”) regularly (usually every 3-6 months during your orthodontic treatment unless recommended otherwise by your family dentist or other dental specialists.

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