Eating Habits During Your Orthodontic Treatment

You are directly responsible for the success of your orthodontic treatment. Broken braces mean longer treatment time and extra trips to the office. Speed up your treatment. Avoid the foods that damage braces or might cause cavities. The three main groups to avoid are hard foods, sticky foods, and sweet foods.

Hard foods may damage appliances by bending wires, loosening cement under the bands, or by breaking brackets or tubes attached to the teeth.

  • Corn on the cob: should be cut off the cob
  • Carrots & celery: shredded or cut into curls or thin sticks and chewed on with back teeth
  • Ribs, chicken, meat: cut meat off bone
  • Apples: cut into wedges
  • *Popcorn*: use care, avoid hard kernels. Remove any outside husks that may get trapped between teeth and gums as they can cause serious swelling and infection.

Hard foods to avoid:

  • French bread, croutons
  • Ice cubes
  • Tortilla chips, Doritos
  • Jaw breakers
  • Pizza crust
  • Beef Jerky
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Suckers
  • Corn nuts
  • Hard pretzels
  • Nuts
  • Bagels
  • Suckers

*Also, avoid chewing on pencils and opening bottles with teeth

Sticky foods damage braces by bending wires and pulling the glue seal loose causing loose brackets and bands.

Sticky foods to avoid:

  • Taffy
  • Caramels
  • Sugar Daddy’s
  • Abba-Zabba
  • Snickers
  • Rolo’s
  • Gummy Bears
  • Licorice
  • Jelly Bellies
  • Now & Laters
  • Starburst
  • Bubble gum

Sugarless Chewing Gum only (with parental permission) This is not recommended while wearing retainers or bite plates.

Sweet foods should be avoided between meals. Teeth should be brushed thoroughly immediately after eating sweet foods.

Call the office if:

  • a band or bracket comes loose (bring bracket or band with you). A tight band protects the tooth from decay and a loose band allows the tooth under it to decay very rapidly
  • an arch wire is broken
  • you have a pokey wire
  • you cannot keep an appointment