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Embarking on a journey with braces can be an exciting and transformative time for your smile, but it also comes with adjustments to your lifestyle including your diet and oral hygiene routine. Braces require special care to ensure your teeth remain healthy during treatment and that the brackets and wires remain steadfast in their orthodontic journey. Join our Sullivan Orthodontics team as we explore foods to avoid while wearing braces and offer essential tips for maintaining excellent oral hygiene throughout your orthodontic journey.

Foods to Avoid with Braces:

  • Sticky and Chewy Foods: Food and candy that is sticky or chewy easily becomes lodged in braces making it challenging to effectively clean between them. This leads to cavities, gum inflammation, and tooth decay and can compromise your smile. Avoid sticky candies, chewing gum, caramel, taffy, and gummy snacks to prevent damage to your brackets and wires and maintain oral hygiene.
  • Hard and Crunchy Foods: Hard and crunchy foods can pose a risk of damaging your braces or bending wires, leading to discomfort and prolonging treatment time. Steer clear of hard candies, nuts, popcorn, ice cubes, and crunchy vegetables like carrots and apples. Instead, opt for softer alternatives that are easier on your braces like steamed veggies, mashed potatoes, and more.
  • Sugary and Acidic Foods: Sugary and acidic foods can contribute to enamel erosion and increase the risk of cavities, especially when braces make it challenging to remove food particles from your teeth. Limit your consumption of sugary snacks, sodas, fruit juices, and acidic foods like citrus fruits to protect your teeth and braces.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Braces:

  • Brushing and Flossing: Brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal to remove food debris and plaque from around the bracket, in the wires, and around the teeth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and pay extra attention to cleaning along the gumline and between brackets. Consider using an interdental brush, floss threader, or a water flosser to clean between wires and brackets.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups with your Bend, Oregon orthodontist for routine adjustments and maintenance of your braces. Your orthodontist at Sullivan Orthodontics will monitor your progress, address any concerns, and provide guidance on proper oral hygiene practices to ensure the success of your treatment.
  • Dietary Modifications: Make dietary modifications to accommodate your braces and minimize the risk of damage or discomfort. Stick to soft, easy-to-chew foods like yogurt, smoothies, pasta, and cooked vegetables. Incorporate plenty of nutrient-rich foods into your diet to support overall oral health.
  • Use Orthodontic Wax: Orthodontic wax can help alleviate discomfort caused by brackets or wires rubbing against the inside of your mouth. Apply a small amount of wax to any areas that are causing irritation or soreness to create a smooth surface and provide relief.


Wearing braces requires a few dietary adjustments and extra diligence in oral hygiene, but the results are well worth the effort. Avoiding certain foods that can damage your braces and following a consistent oral hygiene routine can ensure the success of your orthodontic treatment and yield a beautiful, healthy smile. Consult with your local orthodontist in Bend, Oregon if you have any questions or concerns about caring for your braces or maintaining oral hygiene during treatment. At Sullivan Orthodontics in we are here to help you along your smile journey and help you achieve the smile of your dreams.