Patient Education Series


Congratulations on starting your orthodontic treatment here at Austin Orthodontic Arts. We want to make sure that you know all of the ways that you can take care of your brackets and get the most out of your orthodontic experience. Let's start with foods to avoid! First things you want to avoid anything really hard, sticky and chewy. Here are a few foods that should be avoided during treatment:

  • Hard breads like bagels, French bread, crisp pizza crust
  • Hard snacks like pretzels, nuts, tortilla chips, takis, Chex Mix
  • Hard candies like mints, carmel, Laffy Taffy, Now and Later, Skittles, Starburst, Gummy Bears/Worm, Sour Patch Kids
  • Raw Vegetables
  • Hard objects like ices, pens or pencils
  • Popcorn

Remember, there are still lots of great things you can eat, just go for the softer stuff. For example, a Lay's potato chip will be softer than a tortilla chip. Chopped up peanuts, slivered almonds instead of whole nuts. Seek out softer munchies like cracker snacks, Goldfish, and Cheese-Its. When avoiding harder things is impossible, make sure to cut it into small bites, this will help putting too much pressure on the orthodontic brackets. Also, any types of meats that you're eating, do your best to go boneless. Sometimes that's not an option. Get a knife and fork just cut all the meat off the bone. Chew in the back take your time, again we just don't want you to accidentally bite into a bone with your front teeth.

When you bite into things that are too hard, brackets can become detached from teeth. This is what we call that a loose or a broken bracket. When this happens, you'll notice that bracket isn't actually broken but it is no longer glued to the tooth. Once the bracket is no longer on the tooth, that tooth is not being straightened. We have daily appointments available every day to fix brackets. Give us a call if you ever notice any things loose or broken and we can repair that for you as fast as possible for us.

Next up, oral hygiene. The first couple of times you brush with braces, you might miss a couple of spots, which is completely normal. It's new to you you're just kind of working out this technique. To help, you were sent home with some other tools in your Oral Hygiene Bag to help you as you work out how to brush with braces. Some of the tools include a interproximal brush, soft picks, orthodontic wax, travel-sized tooth brush, a full-sized tooth brush and flossers. Keep these helpful tools on you for when you need extra support.

Brushing and flossing your braces twice a day at a minimum and maintaining excellent oral hygiene is going to be extremely important to ensure you keep a healthy smile during orthodontic treatment. Every appointment you have with us, your hygiene will be graded. If you need help, we're here. At any visit, our clinic team is happy to show you all the best methods and practices to have a beautiful and healthy smile.

Please watch the video below to review all of our recommended oral hygiene techniques and get a full break down on foods to avoid and the tools in your Oral Hygiene Bag.