You will notice that it is a bit harder to keep your teeth clean while wearing braces. Food compacts in the brackets and between your teeth, and can only be removed by brushing and flossing.If plaque remains on the teeth for any length of time, it will leave a permanent white scar on the surface. Brushing after meals should become part of your daily schedule. Use a soft toothbrush with firm pressure and brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth; brush in small circles above and below the brackets.

Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances, so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. A Waterpik can be a useful addition but it cannot remove the sticky plaque that adheres to the teeth. Interplak toothbrushes are great. Flossing is important and should be done every day. The floss threaders are reusable.


Oral Hygiene Overview

For a brief overview of oral hygiene tips, please click on the image below. It will launch our flash educational module in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about oral hygiene.

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Eating Habits

Please do not eat hard foods: nuts, ice, crisp taco shells, whole apples and carrots (cut them into pieces first), hard french bread crust and rolls, spareribs, corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob before eating), and popcorn! These foods risk breaking brackets and wires. Also beware of nail biting and pen or pencil chewing habits, since these can damage your braces. Do not eat sticky foods: taffy, caramels, bubble gum, or sticky candy of any sort. Use common sense about most foods.

Absolutely No

  • Sticky Foods:
    • Caramels
    • Sugar Daddies
    • Starbursts
    • Caramel Apples
    • Sugar Babies
    • Licorice
    • Toffee
    • Tootsie Rolls
    • Now & Laters
  • Hard Foods:
    • Nuts
    • Popcorn
    • Bagels
    • Apples (unless cut into small pieces)
    • Corn on the Cob
    • Pizza Crusts
    • Carrots (uncooked)
    • Doritos
    • Pretzels
  • Drink Much Less:
    • Pop and drinks with sugar

Listed below are recipes for brace friendly snacks, and tips on how to modify your favorite foods. Be sure to floss and brush your teeth after every meal.



Banana Smoothie (8-ounce serving)

smothieYour kids will go ape for this delicious Banana Smoothie. Best of all, it’s high in calcium (great for young teeth and bones) and easy to make (great for you).

  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 ¼ cup low-fat chocolate milk
  • 1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon wheat germ


Place the ice cubes, chocolate milk, banana chunks and wheat germ into a blender. Blend together on medium speed until smooth (about 20 seconds), making sure all ice chips dissolve. Pour into a tall glass, and enjoy!

Fruit Punch (8-ounce serving)

If you can’t eat them, cream them. That’s the motto of fruit-loving braces-wearers everywhere who keep their tin grins great by liquefying hard-to-chew fruits.


  • 1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ cup fresh berries (frozen berries work, too)
  • 1 cup pineapple, grape or orange juice.


Place all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend together on medium until smooth (about 30 seconds). Pour contents into a pitcher, and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Pour into a tall glass, and enjoy!

Potato Pancakes

Craving potato chips? Nix your fix with these Potato Pancakes, a healthy snack that tastes even better with a dollop of applesauce.


  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ diced small onion
  • 1½ tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1½ cups cubed raw potatoes
  • Non-stick vegetable spray
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Place all of the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth (about 20-30 seconds). Coat a frying pan with the non-stick vegetable spray, and place over medium heat. Pour a portion of the pancake batter into the frying pan. Cook until the underside is golden brown, about two minutes. Turn the quesadilla over with a spatula. Continue to cook, until the bottom turns golden brown, about two minutes. Cook until the underside is golden brown, about two minutes. Turn the quesadilla over with a spatula. Continue to cook, until the bottom turns golden brown, about two minutes. Using a spatula, place the potato pancake on a plate. Repeat directions for the remaining batter. Salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to top the potato pancakes with a dollop of apple sauce.

Crispy Oven-Baked Fish Filets

fishLooking for a healthy alternative to the fried fish sandwiches found at most fast-food joints? Try serving your child our Crispy Oven Baked Fish Filets.


  • 1 pound fresh or frozen fish fillets
  • Non-stick vegetable spray
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs


If using frozen fish fillets, thaw thoroughly. Cut the fillets into the serving-size pieces of your choice. Coat a shallow backing dish with the non-stick vegetable spray; then place the fillets in the greased baking dish. Sprinkle the filets with the lemon juice and salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Add the flour to the butter, and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the milk, and cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Pour the butter mixture over the fish fillets; then top with the bread crumbs. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 30 minutes or until the fish starts to flake easily. Using a spatula, place the fillets on a plate, and serve warm.

Pumpkin Pie

pieMake everyday Thanksgiving with this palate-pleasing Pumpkin Pie. Turkey and cranberry sauce are optional.


  • 1 9-inch pre-made graham cracker crust
  • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin filling
  • 1 5-ounce package of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping


In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin filling, pudding mix, milk and pumpkin pie spice. Beat until blended (about 45-60 seconds). Fold in 1½ of the whipped topping. Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the graham cracker crust. Place the pie in the freezer for two hours or until firm. Move the pie from the freezer to the refrigerator; store there for another hour before serving. Top the pie with the remaining whipped topping. If you’d like, garnish with fresh fruit (such as raspberries) or shaved chocolate.

Modified Snacks

  • Apples: Cut into very thin wedges.
  • Chicken wings: You can enjoy these if you first cut the meat off the bone.
  • Corn on the cob: If you must, remove the kernels from the cob with a knife, then enjoy!
  • Hard cookies: Good news: You can have these if you soften them with milk.
  • Pears: Just like you would with apples, cut them into thin wedges first.
  • Pickles: If you have a craving, cut them into small bite-sized pieces.
  • Pizza Crust: Very bad. Good news: the rest of the pie is fine!
  • Raw carrots: If have a Bugs Bunny-like adoration for these orange veggies, steam or boil them for a much less crunchy consistency.
  • Ribs: Just like you would with chicken wings, take the meat off the bone first.