Existing Patients

What to Eat with Braces

Eating proper foods and minimizing sugar intake are essential during orthodontic treatment. Your braces are precise appliances that can be damaged by eating or chewing hard or sticky foods. Eating certain foods will loosen braces, but you may not discover the problem until hours or days later. Loose bands, detached brackets and bent wires can increase treatment time and may result in additional treatment fees.


  • Avoid soda pop and drinks that contain sugar. If you do eat any foods or drinks that contain high amounts of sugar, please brush your teeth immediately. If you aren’t close to a toothbrush, rinse your mouth with water.
  • Cut corn off the cob.
  • Whole fruits and vegetables should be cooked or cut into small pieces and eaten carefully.
  • Any meat cooked on the bone can be pulled off and eaten.
  • Pizza crust and bagels can be eaten if they are broken into small pieces and chewed carefully.


Hard Pretzels


Hard Rolls



Hard Candy


Beef Jerky

Chewing on pens or pencils


Raw Carrot

Raw Apples

Bubble Gum


Sticky Candy

Soda Pop

Pizza Crust



Brushing & Flossing with Braces

Proper brushing and flossing are important habits to the average person, so consider them an absolute MUST for anyone with braces! Your braces and orthodontic fixtures are a trap for food particles, and if they are not properly cleaned out, these bits of food can leave permanent white or brown stains on the teeth after your braces are removed. Ask your Braces Braces Braces orthodontist at for help picking out the perfect toothpaste and toothbrush for your specific orthodontic appliance.

Proper brushing and flossing methods are a little different when you have braces. Read the descriptions below for step-by-step instructions on how to floss and brush with braces.

Brushing with Braces

  • Start by brushing your teeth exactly as you normally would, rotating the brush in a circular motion.
  • To make sure you clear all the food particles that may be trapped in your braces brackets, tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle above the bracket and brush downwards onto your teeth – right at the spot where the top half of the bracket meets the tooth.
  • Repeat this for the bottom half of your teeth, angling upwards where the bottom half of the bracket meets your tooth.
  • Brush once again as normal, making sure to reach outer, inner, and chewing surfaces, and rinse thoroughly.

Flossing with Braces

First, slide the floss through the wire in between two brackets.

Next, pull the floss in between the teeth.

Then, gently move the floss back and forth in a sawing motion, curving it toward each side of the tooth and gently sliding it beneath the gum.

When you are finished, free the floss from between your teeth, and then pull the full piece out of the bracket. Repeat this process for each tooth.


There are a variety of orthodontic problems you may experience in between appointments, like loose brackets and poking wires. These problems are very common; so if one of these issues happens to you, don’t panic! Here is some instruction on what to do in case of an emergency.

Loose Bracket

If the bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it in place. If it’s bothersome, cover it with orthodontic wax. If it comes out completely, bring the bracket in with you at your next appointment. Do not connect rubber bands or extra oral appliances to a loose bracket.

Lost Tie

If a lost tie is bothering you, cover it with orthodontic wax. Please contact the office to ask if an appointment is necessary.

Wire Out

First, try to reinsert the wire back in its tube with CLEAN tweezers or nail clippers. If it becomes irritating, cover the wire with orthodontic wax and call for an appointment.

Long Wire

Try to clip the wire with CLEAN nail clippers or wire cutters. At your next appointment, don’t forget to advise the assistant. If clipping the wire is unsuccessful, cover it with orthodontic wax and call for an appointment.

American Family Orthodontics is a part of Mortenson Dental Partners.

Find Your Beautiful Smile and Help End Bullying at the Same Time

October is National Orthodontic Health Month! It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the dedication of our hard-working orthodontic team while educating about the benefits of orthodontic treatment. At the same time, it gives us a chance to partner with the American Academy of Orthodontics (AAO) on a very important issue in our communities. Keep reading […]

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