The following is a guide to foods that may and should not be eaten while wearing "braces" and "retainers". Inappropriate foods may damage orthodontic appliances that are fragile, expensive and time consuming to fix. And foods that cannot be cleaned off of appliances and teeth may cause staining and decay.

Sticky Foods Should Be Avoided - Don't Even Think About these!

Gum - Caramel - Taffy - Licorice - Snickers - Cracker Jacks - Candy Apples - Etc...

(Fresh "soft" Pizza and Peanut Butter are okay to eat.)

Hard and Chewy Foods Are Off Limits - And Off The Menu -

Nuts - Popcorn - Pretzels - Hard Candy - Bagels - Ice - Stale Rolls - Etc...

(Carrots, Apples, Celery, etc... may be eaten if they are first cut into very thin slices, Corn-on-the-cob may be eaten after it's first cut off the cob. And be careful of "well done" foods - they can be quite hard.)

All Bones And Pits Should Be Removed Before Eating Foods -

Chicken - Spare-ribs - Steak - Peaches - Plums - Apricots - Etc...

In addition, teeth and "braces" should be cleaned after eating foods containing a lot of sugar - to avoid staining and decay. It's also very important not to chew on pens, pencils, fingernails, eyeglasses or other objects. They can easily break and loosen "braces" and "retainers".

Remember, this is only a guide and not a complete list. Common sense must be used. If a food is very sticky or hard and chewy, it should be avoided. Some foods may be acceptable on one day and not the next - as when a roll starts off soft and then becomes stale and hard and chewy. Each food must be looked at and decided upon individually.

When Choosing "Orthodontic Friendly" Foods: If In Doubt - Do Without.

"Thought For Food" - A Guide To Picking Out Foods

Steven Elterman, D.M.D. - Orthodontist - 44 Green Street - Huntington, NY 11743 - (631) 923-3311