Hard and sticky foods will break the brackets from your teeth, bend your wires, or loosen the cement under your bands. Some of the foods that are most likely to cause damage and should be avoided are:
- POP! Soda pop is acidic (pH 2.2-2.8) and will dissolve your teeth making permanent white spots (this can happen even if your tooth brushing is excellent).
- HARD CANDIES and HARD, CANDY-COATED ITEMS
- CHIPS: CORN, POTATO, AND TACO
- CHEWY CANDIES (Gummy Bears, Caramels, Jolly Ranchers, taffy, etc.)
- WHOLE NUTS
- CORN NUTS
- ICE CUBES
- BEEF JERKY
**DO NOT CHEW ON PENS OR PENCILS EITHER
Certain foods may still be eaten, but will require that you prepare them differently than what you may be used to. Some of these foods and suggestions for preparing them are:
- CORN ON THE COB - Cut off the cob
- UNCOOKED CARROTS - Cut into thin curls and chew on your back teeth
- CELERY & APPLES - Cut into small pieces and chew on your back teeth
- POPCORN - Avoid hard kernels and half-popped seeds. Parts of the kernels may also get trapped under your gums and cause swelling.
- FRENCH BREAD - Break into small pieces and chew on your back teeth.
MEAT - Remove from bones (chicken legs, ribs, etc.).
PIZZA CRUSTS - Cut into small pieces and chew on your back teeth.
GUM - A soft, sugarless gum that won't stick to dental work is recommended, but only if it is chewed softly. If broken braces result, it is best to discontinue.