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Brace Watcher’s Diet

At Prevention Orthodontics with Dr. McCoy, our goal is to provide you with a beautiful smile.  This can only be accomplished if your braces stay attached to your teeth.

If a brace is on your tooth for a day or two, it will remain there if you watch what you eat.  Please think of braces as icicles you see on your house in the winter.  The icicle will stay there for weeks and weeks, but if you gently push it to the side, it comes off.  Icicles don’t do well with shearing, or sideways forces.  Hard foods create sideways forces on you braces and will dislodge them.

If a brace becomes loose, it’s not an emergency but we do want you to call and leave a message so we can document your chart.  Save your brace, it is not garbage.  Your braces were custom ordered for you and we will need it.

We will decide at that time if we need to reapply your brace or if we can wait.  If we need to reapply your brace, we will need to adjust your upcoming appointment, since it won’t have been made for the proper amount of time or at the proper time of day for repairs.  We will inform you of this change, if it is needed. There’s more information about broken braces below.

For your diet, we do not want to interfere with your nutritional intake, but we do ask that you watch the types of foods that you eat.  Some types of foods are capable of breaking your braces or your retainer.  All these things prolong treatment time or can lead to shifting of your teeth.

A careful patient can eat a nutritionally balanced diet and do no harm to their braces.  We hope that you will strive to be this type of patient.

The foods listed below are examples of the ones that we have found to be the most common causes of loose bands, brackets and broken appliances like retainers.  There are plenty more types of food that are not safe for your braces, so please think about everything you will be eating while wearing braces, every time you eat.

Examples of Hard and Sticky Foods To Avoid

  1. Ice (no crunching, please)
  2. Hard and sticky candies like Skittles and caramels
  3. Hard corn chips like Doritos break braces ​
  4. Hard edges of pizza – stick to the middle pieces
  5. Ribs and chicken may be eaten if sliced off the bone
  6. Peanuts and Popcorn – hard kernels break braces. Eat bagged popcorn
  7. Carrots & apples (cut into small pieces first)              

Sweet Foods and Brushing

Although they may not cause damage to your appliances, eating sweet foods often can damage your teeth around your braces or retainer.

Do I brush my teeth right away after eating?  No! 

Brush your teeth no sooner than 30 minutes after eating.

You have to wait 30 minutes for your teeth to remineralize and then you should brush your teeth.  You could damage the enamel on your teeth if you brush right away.

If you cannot brush after 30 minutes, at least rinse your mouth out with water, otherwise permanent white spots can form on your teeth, especially from soda.

Do not snack all day! 

Eat and be done, wait 30 minutes and then brush.

Snacking all day or drinking sips of something all day is the very worst thing you can do for the enamel on your teeth because it never gets a chance to remineralize and that leads to enamel loss and chalky, white staining.

Broken Braces – What Do I Do?

Patients often notice loose braces when they brush, because your brush moves them side to side.  That is usually not when they broke.  Braces break from food.  Brushing is usually when you notice them.

It’s not an emergency as long as you are comfortable.

Please notify our office via email or by leaving a voice message if any appliances become loose or broken.  We want to know so that we can decide if it’s important to replace soon or if it can wait.  We also document your chart.

Oftentimes, back braces can wait until later in treatment and will not slow your progress down, so no special trip is needed.  So, again, please email us or leave a voice message and let us know and we will decide what needs to be done and when.  Also, please do let us know if you are uncomfortable.  You can call our office number and obtain our emergency number, Dr. McCoy’s cell phone number, if you are uncomfortable.  Please use that for emergencies.

Save a loose brace.  It is not garbage!

​Your braces were custom ordered for you and should not be thrown away.  Put it into a baggie and bring it to your appointment.

Work hard to keep your braces just as shiny as the day they were placed and avoid the type of foods that break braces.

If you follow this advice, then when your treatment is completed and your braces are removed you will be wearing a happy, healthy smile.

A Smile is Forever!


Dr. McCoy and Staff