Eating During Treatment
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. Dr. Collins wishes for you to achieve the treatment goals with as few disturbances as possible due to appliance breakage, and to minimize the side effects 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 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 water after eating sweet foods.
Remember, if you have any questions about dietary restrictions or good food choices, please ask!
Foods To Avoid
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)
- Sugar Daddies
- Tootsie Rolls
Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:
- Hard taco shells
- French bread crust/rolls
- Corn on the cob
- Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
- Jolly Ranchers
- Pizza crust
- Uncooked carrots (unless cut)
Minimize Sugary Foods like:
- Ice Cream
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.