What to Eat

You had a long visit in which we have carefully fitted and cemented your first orthodontic “bands”. These bands are only part of your custom-made appliances, so you must be careful of what you eat and chew, since a band, bracket or tube can be easily crushed or loosened.

Now that you have your orthodontic appliances, it's up to you to keep them from being damaged or broken. Your appliances are very delicate and will not withstand abuse or neglect. You must be very careful about the types of food you eat and the manner in which you eat them. Very hard or sticky foods will cause damage by bending wires, loosening cement under bands or breaking the tubes and brackets that are attached to the bands.

  • Foods to Avoid
  • Gum, whole nuts, ice cubes, or corn on the cob
  • Popcorn or large pretzels, hard breads or pizza crust
  • Sticky or hard candy (taffy, caramel, jaw breakers, etc.)
  • Soft drinks (Coca-Cola, Sprite)
  • Hard chips (Doritos, tortilla chips)
  • Foods to Eat with Caution
  • Apples, pears, carrot and celery sticks should be sliced
  • Avoid sugary foods to prevent etch marks
  • Do not play with wires with tongue, pens or pencils
  • Do not chew on steak, chop, or chicken bones
  • Do not bite finger nails

This is only a partial list of the foods you should not eat. Use your own good judgement in determining whether other foods are too hard to eat. You MAY have: potato chips, peanut butter, all vegetables and meats, including steaks.

Also try to avoid foods high in sugar content. If you do eat sweets, brush your teeth immediately afterwards.

Eating foods high in sugar content will result in "etch marks" on your teeth. There are chalky white areas on your teeth usually between the gums and the bands. The enamel of the teeth can become soft and susceptible to decay because of etch marks and they will never go away once they are there. Daily rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash (e.g. Flourigard or ACT) is recommended. Before sleeping, please use the prescribed Prevident toothpaste after brushing with your regular toothpaste.

The success of orthodontics depends on your cooperation. For maximum success, you must follow all instructions carefully, brushing your teeth and gums as prescribed and staying away from eating foods on the list of harmful foods. Poor cooperation or carelessness will lengthen the treatment time and may eventually add unnecessary expense.

Let’s work together to get the best smile for you!