Orthodontists in Silver Spring MD Disclaimer Privacy Policy Televox

A careful orthodontic patient can probably eat almost any food without doing damage to his/her appliances. However, these three types of food can cause trouble by bending wires, breaking braces and loosening the cement that attaches the appliances to your teeth.
  1. Hard Foods
  2. Sticky Foods
  3. Foods High in Sugar
Avoid hard foods similar to the following:
Hard bread, ice, popcorn, Jawbreakers, Jolly Ranchers, hard pretzels, croutons, whole nuts and hard taco shells.

Take special care when eating these foods:
Apples, peaches, plums
If possible, cut into wedges and chew on back teeth.
Bagels, hard breads, pizza crust
Break into bite-size pieces.
Carrots, celery, raw veggies
Cut into small pieces that are thinner and chew on back teeth.

Avoid sticky foods similar to the following:
Caramels, Sugar Daddies, Starburst and taffy
Excessive breakage or damage to your appliances will add excessive treatment time and damage to the enamel surface of your teeth.

Limit the amount of sugary foods you eat. Sugar can increase the plaque that forms on your teeth, causing cavities and permanent white marks. Many foods, like breakfast cereals, have hidden sugars. If you do choose to eat sugary foods, please brush immediately after.

Avoid between-meal snacking. The worst thing you can do is drink soda or eat crackers and chips between meals without brushing.

Soft Drinks and Lemons
Soft drinks and lemons contain a substance that can cause permanent damage to the enamel on your teeth. If you decide to drink soft drinks or eat lemons, we recommend that you brush thoroughly to decrease the possibility of damage. If you are unable to brush, please rinse you mouth with water.

Foreign Objects
Do not bite or chew on pens, pencils or Popsicle sticks. These objects may break brackets, bend wires and loosen cement.

If you play sports, always remember to wear a mouthguard. Be sure to talk to us about your individual needs. ShockDoctor makes mouthguards for braces.

Other Orthodontic "No-No's":
Lip biting
Pushing your tongue against your teeth
Chewing on pencils or pens
Tearing things with your teeth
Biting your fingernails


As your mouth adjusts to the appliances that we have placed, it is normal to feel soreness during the first few days. Try to eat soft foods and you may wish to take a mild, non-prescription pain reliever (aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen) until the tenderness subsides. For maximum effectiveness, it may be best to take such medications before the discomfort begins. Tenderness will vary from patient to patient; however, most soreness should be gone within a few days.


Smaller, Softer and Slower:
This will make chewing easier for you and less uncomfortable if your teeth are sore. Cutting your food into small pieces will minimize the amount of chewing. Softer foods will make it much easier to chew. By eating slower, you will decrease the likelihood of biting your tongue and cheek.

Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, you may find it helpful to use a small piece of wax around the bracket. We will give you a supply of wax at the start of treatment. Should you run out and need more in between appointments, you may pick some up from our office or find it in most food stores or pharmacies.

The parts of your teeth that are covered by orthodontic bands or brackets are protected from decay, as long as the bands are not loose. The area that tends to cause the most problems is the "shelf" where brackets, tubes and wires stick out away from the teeth. This "shelf" makes it harder to clean the spaces between your gums and the orthodontic appliances. If you don't get these areas clean, the gums swell, get puffy and become even harder to clean. Continued neglect of these areas may result in tooth decay, permanent staining or decalcification of your teeth, and gum disease.

  • Brush within five minutes after every meal. (Easy to say, hard to do! Take a travel toothbrush wherever you go.)
  • Use a soft bristle brush to prevent gum recession.
  • Initially, brush back and forth across the gums and teeth to remove food particles.
  • Then, brush in a circular motion between braces and under gums, a few teeth at a time.
  • Brush 10 times in each area before moving on. Scrub the chewing surfaces last.
  • Brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue.
  • Rinse your mouth and look in the mirror to check the half moon spaces of the teeth between the bands and the gums.
  • When you are finished, the bands should be shiny and free of all food particles and white coatings. If you see red, swollen gums, take special care to massage them with your toothbrush.
  • Electric toothbrushes with a timer are excellent tools that make cleaning easier. We highly recommend their use for all orthodontic patients.

  • Daily flossing is very important!
  • Tie the floss to the end of the floss threader and direct the floss threader under the archwire.
  • Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers.
  • Wrap a "C" around the tooth and firmly guide the floss along the sides of the tooth and under the gum line.
  • Repeat this procedure for each tooth.

  • The use of topical fluoride can aid in the prevention of tooth decay and decalcification (white marks on the teeth).
  • We recommend that our patients use a fluoride rinse once a day while they are wearing orthodontic appliances.
  • Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, will reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks. Peroxyl helps to prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of Peroxyl (half a capful) for one minute and then spit it out. You may use Peroxyl up to four times daily following your schedule for brushing: after meals (or after school) and before bed. Just like using peroxide for a scrape on your skin, Peroxyl helps the inside of your mouth heal. Peroxyl can be used for general irritation caused by your braces or for canker sores, cheek bites and other minor temporary injuries to the gums.
  • PreviDent 5000 Plus is a 1.1% sodium toothpaste that helps prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces. It works by removing harmful bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been weakened by plaque and decay. The use of PreviDent 5000 Plus does not replace daily morning and afternoon brushing and flossing. Use this toothpaste only at bedtime after flossing. Place a small strip on a toothbrush, brush for two minutes, spit out and rinse. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after you use PreviDent 5000 Plus or you will wash away its effectiveness.

Regular Dental Checkups
Although you are having your braces checked regularly, it is very important to continue to see your family dentist at least every six months for a thorough examination and cleaning of your teeth. If you experience difficulty with good oral hygiene you my need to see your dentist more frequently.

11120 New Hampshire Ave. Suite 402 | Silver Spring, MD 20904 | (301) 593-6363 | Sitemap