Caring for Braces
Our goal is to get your braces off as soon as possible!
Together we can make that happen. Your braces will take a
little extra care, brushing will take a little longer and
your diet will need some little changes. But, with excellent
cooperation we can complete your treatment on time and give
you an awesome smile.
foods should I avoid?
Any food and drink that your dentist has suggested may cause
dental decay should be restricted while wearing braces. Sticky
foods are to be avoided because of the increased risk of dental
decay and appliance breakage. These foods stick to your braces
and remain on your teeth for long periods of time. If foods
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. Snacks should be confined to foods
without refined sugar and should be followed by brushing or
vigorous rinsing if a toothbrush is unavailable.
Wearing braces limits the foods that you are permitted to
eat. Certain foods can bend and distort wires causing treatment
delays and extra visits for repairs. In general hard, brittle,
crunchy and sticky foods should NOT be eaten during orthodontic
treatment. Hard crunchy foods can bend and possibly break
the braces and wires, while sticky foods may loosen them.
Certain foods may be eaten if they are prepared in a special
way. Whole fruits and vegetables or any raw foods such as
apples, celery and carrots should be sliced and eaten carefully.
Hard crusty breads should be broken and eaten in small pieces.
Corn may be eaten if sliced off the cob.
Do not suck on lemons or limes (citric acid in juice can
dissolve tooth enamel) and especially do not suck or chew
ice cubes. Chewing ice cubes can be very destructive to your
appliances and teeth. Keep fingernails, pencils and other
objects out of your mouth. Do not put anything in your mouth
that may tend to bend, break, pry, pull or knock off the braces.
Popcorn can cause harm in multiple ways. The husks from the
popcorn can become lodged beneath the braces and cause irritation
of the gum tissue. Unpopped kernels can shear or break off
brackets as well as bend or dislodge wires.
The following is a list of only some of the foods you should
avoid as you should use your own good judgment while eating
anything. No matter what you eat, please clean your teeth
and gum tissue thoroughly after eating any food and especially
Here are some tips on the types of foods to avoid:
Nuts, peanut brittle
Gum - no way
Taffy and Caramels
Milk Duds etc.
Be careful with these foods:
Carrots - grate or cut into tiny pieces
Apples - cut into wedges - don't bite
Hard French bread - tear into small pieces
Limit foods with a high sugar content
The acids produced by high sugar content foods can attack
for twenty minutes or more each time you eat. So, the best
time to eat carbohydrates or other sugary foods is during
a meal. The mouth produces more saliva during a meal which,
in turn, helps to neutralize acid production and rinse food
from the mouth. If possible, brush immediately after eating.
If it is not possible to do so, rinsing with clear water will
Other Orthodontic "No-No's":
Pushing your tongue against your teeth
Chewing on pencils or pens
Tearing things with your teeth
Biting your fingernails
Dr. Hsiao and his staff are dedicated to
providing you with the best possible orthodontic care. It
is our goal to see that you make it through your treatment
without any problems or delays due to loosening or breakage
of your braces or appliances. We are providing this information
to help make you better aware of how problems can arise and
how to avoid them.
Extreme care of bands, brackets, and appliances
is necessary. Almost all instances of damaged braces
and appliances are directly caused by eating improper foods,
and can be avoided by using common sense.
Appliance loosening and breakage during
treatment is to be avoided as it:
?Slows the treatment process
?Causes unwanted tooth movements
?May add several weeks or months to your treatment
?Results in additional fees to repair the damage?May lead
to additional office visit fees if the treatment is extended
Why can't I eat anything I want?
There are certain foods or things which are known to weaken
the braces and appliances. Also, playing with the braces or
appliances with the fingers or tongue can create loosening
or breakage problems. This weakening can be gradual or can
happen all at once depending on the circumstance. This weakening
of the braces and appliances will lead to their loosening
But I wasn't eating anything wrong when
We understand that this can be very true. If the
cement or appliance system has been weakened due to previous
food or other harmful habits, the braces or appliances can
then loosen at seemingly unrelated times.
Anything that causes weakening of the braces or appliances
will eventually lead to their loosening or breakage. It only
takes one instance of improper food or other harmful habits
to lead to problems. While the problem may not show up immediately,
it may show up when you least suspect it.
How can I avoid these problems?
Follow the written dietary suggestions which we have provided
to you, avoid any harmful habits, and use common sense to
protect your braces or appliances from damage.
What if something loosens or breaks?
Please call our office and report any damaged or loosened
braces and/or appliances immediately. We will likely schedule
a comfort check visit to remove any damaged braces/appliances,
assess the damage and plan the next visit to repair the damage.
You should not wait until your normal visit to inform us of
The hard work will definitely pay off. Your treatment
will be successful and you will be proud of your accomplishment.