Foods to avoid

Braces are delicate and easily damaged, so what you eat becomes especially important in caring for your braces. Chewing ice, for example, can really cause a lot of harm.

Dr. Oppenheimer recommends a number of sticky and hard foods to avoid:

  • Caramels
  • Taffy
  • Chewing Gum
  • Hard Candy
  • Popcorn
  • Pizza Crust
  • Nuts

“It is important to eat a healthy, well balanced diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables,” Dr. Oppenheimer said. “Even if some foods are hard and crunchy-an apple, for instance-you can cut them into small pieces. Also remember, unless you can brush immediately afterwards, sugary foods should be avoided.”

“Your braces may cause some discomfort during the first few days of treatment and after some subsequent adjustments,” he added. “There are several things you can do to minimize this problem. Eat soft foods for the first few days. Use a warm salt-water rinse, as needed. Consider taking over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as needed. You can also put wax over any problem areas.”

Dr. Oppenheimer said that treatment is an ongoing process, and most of it happens when patients are not in the office. “Teamwork between you, your orthodontist and the staff is essential.”