Oral Hygiene & Foods to Avoid

Diet-RestrictionsOral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is always important, but it is especially critical when undergoing orthodontic treatment.

We recommend that you visit your dentist every three months while in treatment. This is because braces can make it more difficult for you to brush and floss properly.

Poor oral hygiene leads to plaque (bacteria and food particles) build-up on the enamel, braces and gums. This leads to gingivitis (red, swollen, and bleeding gums), scarring of the enamel, and cavities. We recommend that you brush for at least two minutes four times a day. You need to brush after breakfast, after lunch (if schools do not allow lunchtime breaks, then as soon as you get home from school), after dinner, and before you go to bed. We recommend using a Sonicare® tooth brush for best results.

Flossing is recommended once a day, preferably before going to bed. We will prescribe fluoride toothpaste to be used before bed time also.

Oral HygieneiStock-883019588

Diet Restrictions

For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard, sticky, chewy, and brittle foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard and brittle foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Broken brackets lead to delays in your treatment progress. Sticky and chewy foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems.

Nail/cuticle biting, pencil and pen chewing, and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.


Foods to Avoid (THE NO-NO LIST):

  • Bubble Gum (sugar-free gum is okay)
  • Sticky candy (licorice, Sugar Daddies, toffee, Tootsie Rolls, caramels, Starburst, Now and Laters, Skittles, gummy bears, taffy)
  • Hard candy (suckers, Jolly Ranchers, mints)
  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Hard taco shells
  • Hard breads crust/rolls
  • Pizza crust
  • Bagels
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces or shredded)
  • Corn or hard chips, like Doritos, Fritos, Tostitos, hard Cheetos (Lays potato chips are okay)
  • Hard pretzels
  • Beef jerky
  • Granola and crunchy cereals

Minimize Sugary Foods like:

  • Cake
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Try to avoid:

  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Any drinks with excess sugar

If you have to have them, use a straw to keep the sugar off your teeth.

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.