Braces are a reality for most teens and even some adults, whether for cosmetic or medical purposes. And any braces-wearer knows that there are a lot of rules you’re supposed to follow: foods you can’t eat and ways you have to floss and brush. Do you really have to follow them though?

YES. We can’t say it enough times: yes. Why?

  • Eating hard or sticky foods or chewing gum can cause brackets to pop off. This can hinder your progress and require extra trips to the orthodontist to get the brackets reattached.
  • Not brushing after every meal and snack can leave food particles trapped against your teeth. This can cause tooth decay or staining. When you get your braces off, the last thing you want to discover is that you have to get a cavity filled or that your tooth surface under the brackets is whiter than the rest of your teeth!
  • Not flossing properly can have the same effects as not brushing enough: tooth decay or staining.
  • Eating sticky foods and chewing gum can also cause sugar to stick to your teeth around the brackets, which can result in tooth decay.
  • Eating hard or sticky foods that stress the brackets and wires can even inhibit the progress the braces make in moving your teeth and keeping them there, so you might need braces again.
  • Not wearing your retainer after you get your braces off is a major reason that people’s teeth move back after they get braces so that they have to get braces again.


If you want the first time you have braces to be the only time you have braces, and you want the results to be as beautiful and painless as possible, you should listen to your orthodontists rules for braces-wearers, and avoid hard foods like popcorn and jawbreakers, sticky foods like hard candies and suckers, and regular chewing gum. You should also be sure to brush your teeth after eating and to use braces-friendly flossing tools.

Think you need braces? The dentists at Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry can help determine the best course of action for improving your smile. Set up an appointment today!