Oral Hygiene & Diet Restrictions

Oral 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 with a fluoride toothpaste. 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® toothbrush for best results. Water Picks® can also be very helpful aids to maintain proper oral hygiene.  Flossing is recommended at lest once a day, preferably before going to bed.

The following videos can give you helpful instruction how to properly brush and floss.

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

Sticky Foods Including…

  • Caramels
  • Bubble Gum
  • Starbursts
  • Candy/Caramel Apples
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Taffy
  • Etc

Hard Foods Including…

  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Jaw Breakers
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Hard Pretzels
  • Bagels
  • Ice
  • Etc

To Minimize Sugar Intake

Eat Less of…

  • Candy
  • Ice Cream
  • Cake
  • Cookies
  • Pie

Drink Less of…

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

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.