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Eating While Wearing Braces

Traditional braces consist of bands, brackets and wires, which are easily dislodged or damaged while eating. When orthodontic braces sustain damage, they cease to work in the intended way. For this reason, it is essential to take good care of your braces and follow guidelines for eating as provided by your orthodontist.

Certain types of foods should either be completely avoided or eaten with extreme care. Here are some general guidelines to follow when eating with braces:


Do Not Eat Hard Foods Whole      

Hard foods pose the biggest threat to braces. They can dislodge the brackets and snap the wires. Here are some foods which must never be eaten whole:     

  • Hard candy

  • Popcorn (the kernels can cause breakage or inflammation if they get stuck between teeth)

  • Ice cubes

  • Unsliced hard fruits and vegetables

  • Hard potato chips

  • Gumballs

Slice Fruits and Vegetables Before Consumption      

There are many hard, healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables that should still be consumed, but need to be prepared first. The best way to eat fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and apples, without damaging braces is to slice or dice them into small pieces. This will make them easier to eat and reduce the chance of dislodging braces.

Do Not Eat Sticky Foods

Sticky foods can quickly dislodge braces and tend to wrap around brackets, making them look stained and unattractive. Examples of sticky foods to be avoided include:

  • Gum

  • Taffy

  • Jerky

  • Caramel

  • Chocolate bars containing caramel

Similarly, foods which are generally eaten off the bone or the cob must be must be completely stripped from the bone, and then cut into tiny pieces which will not dislodge or break appliances.
     

Do Not Chew On Inedible Items

Chewing on pencils, crayons, pens or fingernails can easily damage braces. Always keep in mind that your orthodontic appliances are fragile. Some habits and activities require a change in routine to ensure effective treatment.

Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks

It is no secret that high sugar levels lead to tooth decay. As orthodontic appliances can exacerbate the decay process, it is even more crucial to think about the sugar content in foods. It is also essential to thoroughly brush teeth (including in-between the brackets) a minimum of four times each day. If brushing is not an option after every meal, try to rinse with water to remove food particles captured on brackets and between teeth.

Always remember to remove retainers before drinking beverages. The sugary liquid can become trapped between the device and teeth, which expedites the decay process.

Here are some sugary foods and beverages to avoid (the sugarless versions are acceptable):
     

  • Milk

  • Soda

  • Breath mints

  • Iced tea

  • Jam and jelly

  • Cereals

  • Fruit juice
             

If you have any questions or concerns about what foods to eat while wearing braces, please contact your orthodontist.

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I just had to write to say how appreciative I am of Dr. Tsui. If you are looking for a dentist, look no further. She is kind, caring and does an amazing job. She makes sure there is no pain and does each job to perfection. I recently had a dental emergency and she was there in no time. On top of all of that, her office is like a spa with water falls and fountains. They have the glasses for you to watch a movie, which are a great distraction. The staff is stellar!!! The nicest staff of people I have ever meet, so professional and personable at the same time. I recommend Dr. Tsui to all my friends, I can't say enough wonderful things about her and her amazing staff.

Ashley F. (Patient gave permission for publication).

I've been a patient of Dr. Tsui's since Smile Creations first opened their doors in 2003. My parents and younger sister see Dr. Tsui as well, and all of us are pleased with the services we've received. My parents have received major work (crowns) and all of us have had cleanings, exams, and fillings done. Dr. Tsui's office is equipped with the latest technologies--digital x-rays, an intraoral camera, and video glasses so you can watch movies as you receive dental work. My parents have recently had more crowns done and in just one visit, Dr. Tsui completed the crown prep work on my parents and they waited in the office while the actual permanent crown was being made right in the office! I've never heard of other dental practices with this technology! My parents didn't need a temporary crown and they didn't need a second visit where crowns are typically sent to labs which can take 2 weeks on average. A call from Dr. Tsui's office is made the next day to check on the healing process and to answer any questions. My parents are quick to point out what a stellar job Dr. Tsui does when it comes to giving anesthetic injections. A numbing topical is applied first, and after a few minutes, Dr. Tsui will carefully and skillfully proceed with the injection into the cheek and gums. She talks you through the whole way so you know what's going on. I have a low pain tolerance and hate needles so she definitely eases my fears through her gentleness and I walk away thinking that the injection hurt less than expected! Dr. Tsui works with a range of patients from the elderly to adolescents. The bi-lingual (English and Chinese) speaking staff including Dr. Tsui herself, allows her to relate and work with multiple generations of people. I have only positive kudos and express my sincere thanks for the gentle and professional dental work that my family and I have received from Dr. Tsui and her staff. I would highly recommend Dr. Tsui for any and all dental care needs.

Andrea W.(Patient gave permission for publication).

Dear Dr. Tsui,

I want to thank you again for all of the great dental care you have provided to me over the years. As you know, I was referred to you years ago by my friend and former co-worker. She raved about how great you and your staff are. I started going to you for dental care about 6 or 7 years ago. 2 of those years, I was forced to change my dental insurance coverage and had to find a different dentist. I went to 2 or 3 different offices trying to find a good patient/doctor relationship....and, frankly, never did. When I went back to an insurer that included you in the network, I was so happy that I could continue my dental care with you.

As you know, I have had the need for 2 crowns recently. Although I can't say I enjoyed the experience, I can say that you and your staff made it as pleasant as possible and I have great confidence in the work that you do. You and your staff have consisently practiced thoroughness, attention to detail and excellent communication (before, during and after procedures). It is very obvious that you truly care about your patients' dental health and their comfort when having their teeth worked on. That makes such a big difference in patient care and I greatly appreciate it! I am happy with the work that you have done for my crowns and I will continue to go to you for any future work that may be needed.

Smile Creations is a wonderful dental care practice! Now, I am the one raving about you and your staff and I have encouraged numerous people to go to you for dental work. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Cathy D.(Patient gave permission for publication).

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