Dietary Control

A beautiful smile can only be accomplished if the braces stay attached to your teeth. The office of Dr. Brent J. Porter, D.D.S. your Santa Cruz Pediatric Dentist, does not want to interfere with your nutritional intake, but we ask that you watch the type of food you eat. Some foods are capable of breaking your bands or brackets, bending your arch wire, or becoming entrapped between your gingival (gum) tissues and appliances.

It is important to know that when bands come loose, brackets break off, or tie wires become missing, this can prolong your treatment time. This in turn can lead to further problems such as:

  • Poor results
  • White marks on teeth or tooth decay
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Longer treatment time
  • Additional expenses

We have found the foods listed below to be the most common causes of loose bands and brackets or broken wires. These foods should be avoided during orthodontic treatment.

Hard Foods: No hard, chewy, sticky or large pieces of food should be eaten:

  • Ice (an absolute NO!)
  • Hard crust of pizza
  • Crisp French fries
  • Hard corn chips (Fritos, Nachos, potato chips, etc.)
  • All Nuts
  • Popcorn (the uncooked kernels)
  • Hard candy
  • Carrots, apples (any hard-skinned fruits must be cut into small pieces and the skinned peeled away)
  • Corn on the cob (take the corn and cut it away from the cob)
  • Ribs, chicken, steak, etc. (meats must be cut away from the bone)

Sticky Foods:

  • Caramel
  • Taffy
  • Licorice
  • Candy bars
  • Gum
  • Bubble gum

In an effort to decrease caries incidence (cavities) during orthodontic treatment, the following foods should be limited in their use:

Sweet Foods:

  • Cake
  • Pie
  • Cookies
  • Sweet drinks/Soda

If you have doubts concerning whether a certain type of food can be eaten, please call Brent J. Porter, D.D.S., your Santa Cruz Pediatric Dentist and ask. If you are unable to contact our office, avoid that particular food.

If a band comes loose, a bracket comes off, or a wire breaks, call us as soon as possible, even if you are already scheduled. Unless we are aware of the issue, in advance, we won’t be able to add extra time to your already existing appointment to address the problem. This hinders treatment and delays progress. It is the patient’s/parent's responsibility to call us when an appliance, band, or bracket comes loose or is broken.

It also must be stressed that if poor oral hygiene becomes a problem, this may slow or stop treatment altogether. Proper brushing techniques must be developed prior to placement of the orthodontic appliances. Four-month check-ups, including exams and cleaning, is helpful with bonded braces. If any problems arise, please feel free to discuss the situation with a member of our staff.

For more information please contact the office of Brent J. Porter D.D.S., Santa Cruz Pediatric Dentist (831) 459-9802.