Our orthodontist and team at Friendly Smiles Orthodontics know that our patients will experience many changes when they wear braces. For this reason, Dr. Yone Ponce provides instructions on our website that guide patients during their orthodontic treatment in Tucson, Arizona. We invite you to call us at 520-326-1101 if you have any questions or if you want to schedule an appointment at our office.

The Food Chart

No, you really don’t have to stop eating now that you are wearing braces. But what you eat and how you eat will be very important in determining how your treatment goes and if it stays on time. Food that cannot be cleaned off of your braces can lead to discoloration and decay of your teeth. Even though our braces and wires are strong, they can still be easily damaged by eating the wrong foods, which may result in a longer treatment.

Foods to Avoid
Sticky Foods

  • Caramel
  • Gummy candy
  • Starburst
  • Now & Later
  • Shark Bites
  • Caramel apples
  • Licorice
  • Red Vines
  • Mike and Ike
  • Big Hunk
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Toffee
  • Sugar Babies
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Abba Zabba

Hard Foods

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Hard candy
  • Bagels
  • Ice
  • Doritos
  • Pizza crust
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard pretzels

Apples and carrots may be cut into small pieces.

Other Recommendations

  • Eat less candy, sugar, cookies, cakes, ice cream and pies
  • Drink less soda pop and beverages containing sugar
  • Avoid chewing on non-food items like pencils, pens, fingernails and ice

Oral Hygiene

How Often Do I Need to Brush?
Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, in the morning and before bed. You will want to brush after every meal. Food sticks in those braces!

Do I Need a Special Toothbrush?
We recommend a soft-bristled brush. Some patients purchase an electric toothbrush and have been pleased with the results.

What Is the Best Way to Brush?
Proper brushing should take about five minutes, so please take your time and do a good job. Always start in the same place and work your way around. The goal is to not miss any areas, so try to develop a pattern and follow it. Strong brushing pressure is needed to properly clean the teeth with braces on, but it should not so hard that you dislodge any brackets. Place the bristles on the tooth between the braces and the gum tissue. Gently massage the area to avoid puffy tissue and cavities. After cleaning your teeth, force the bristles between the braces and the wire to clean between the wire and the teeth. Don’t forget to brush the chewing surfaces and the tongue side of the teeth as well! We will grade your brushing when you come in, and you should do the same at home. If you need to do better, we will tell you — we are not fussing at you. We do not want you to have permanent scars on your teeth or any decay to spoil that beautiful, new smile.

Do I Need to Floss With Braces?
Yes! Flossing allows you to remove plaque that builds up between your teeth. This may take time to master, but it is a very important step.

Are My Regular Checkups With My Dentist Still Necessary?
Absolutely! We recommend that you have a cleaning, fluoride treatment and checkup every four to six months, with X-rays if appropriate.

What Can I Do to Fight Against Cavities?
We recommend the use of Act or Phos-Flur fluoride rinses to use before you go to bed. Remember not to eat or drink anything after rinsing for at least 30 minutes to maximize the cavity prevention effect of the rinse.

Taking Care of Problems With Braces

A Loose Band or Bracket
If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it in place. If it’s uncomfortable, dry the area and place some wax over it. If the band or bracket comes out, wrap it up in tissue and bring it with you when you come in.

A Loose Wire
Try to replace the loose wire with tweezers. If that’s not possible, use a fingernail clipper or wire cutter to clip it behind the last tooth where it is securely fastened. If you are uncomfortable, you can place wax on it.

A Lost Tie Wire or Elastic Tie
No need to hurry and call, but do let us know at your next visit.

Use warm salt water rinses or take Tylenol or Advil.

Your Headgear Does Not Fit
Sometimes this is caused by not wearing it as you were instructed. If the face bow part is bent, please call us at once!

A Loose Appliance
If it is sticking or poking you, place some wax over it right away!

If you ever feel that you are unable to handle any of these problems on your own, please call us as soon as possible. We’re here to help you and keep you comfortable!