At Altera Orthodontics, our aim is to achieve treatment goals with as few disturbances as possible due to appliance breakage, and to minimize the side effects of poor diet choices. Certain dietary habits are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances as well as increase the risk of dental disease. Remember, teeth move best in a healthy environment and in individuals with excellent overall health.
Foods and drinks that may cause dental caries (cavities) should be restricted while wearing braces. Avoid sticky food because of the increased risk of dental decay and appliance breakage. If food or drinks high in sugar content are consumed, we advise having them with regular meals or at one given time of day, not many times a day. Please make sure that careful brushing and rinsing take place immediately afterwards. Between-meal snacks should be limited to foods without refined sugar and should be followed by brushing and/or vigorous rinsing.
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 harmful 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) will 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, corn, raw carrots, nuts) may do damage by bending wires, loosening cement under bands or breaking the little 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 possible to brush, then always rinse your mouth with clear water after eating sweet foods.
Remember, if you have any questions about dietary restrictions or good food choices, please ask!