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Foods to Avoid

Sequence Orthodontics, conveniently located in Waldorf and Leonardtown, and serving Charles County and St. Mary’s County, Maryland, provides extensive information on foods to avoid and other lifestyle considerations when undergoing orthodontic treatment. Our office proudly provides education to help patients get the most out of their orthodontic treatment.

What Foods Should Be Avoided When Wearing Braces or Retainers?

While wearing traditional braces and permanent retainers, it is important to remember that proper care must be taken to avoid foods that could cause damage to the wires or brackets, as well as staining or tooth decay.

It is very common for food to become lodged between the wires and brackets of braces, and if not properly removed, this may lead to a build-up of plaque, tooth decay, and stains. At your initial fitting, you will receive oral hygiene supplies and instructions on how to properly care for your teeth and gums while wearing braces, such as the use of special orthodontic floss. We will also educate you on how to effectively clean between brackets and wires to ensure optimal results of your orthodontic treatment.

For patients who wear traditional metal or ceramic braces or permanent retainers, it is advised that you avoid hard and chewy foods that could damage your braces by damaging brackets, bending wires or loosening bands. In general, we recommend that you avoid such food as:

  • Popcorn
  • Ice
  • Chewing gum
  • Caramel, toffee, and taffy
  • Nuts
  • Hard candies
  • Beef jerky, pork rinds, and other tough, chewy foods

It is also important to limit your intake of sweets, as these are known to contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Hard fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and apples, though encouraged, should be eaten in bite-sized pieces or grated in order to avoid damaging braces, particularly on the front teeth.

What Should I do Next?

If you live in Charles County or St. Mary’s County, Maryland and would like more information about foods to avoid while wearing braces and retainers, contact our Waldorf or Leonardtown office to schedule a consultation at Sequence Orthodontics.