Orthodontic Tips for the 4th of July

Austin Orthodontist wishing everyone a happy 4th of July

The 4th of July holiday weekend is upon us and Austin Orthodontist, Dr. RJ Jackson wants you to have a great time while keeping your braces in tip top shape. This holiday is a time where friends and families get together for fun, food and festivities. If you are wearing braces, you must take some precautions in knowing which types of food to eat, and what you might want to avoid. If you’re wearing Invisalign, no need to worry, you can remove your retainers and enjoy whatever type of food you wish (just make sure to properly brush your teeth and clean your aligners before putting them back on).  OK, back to the foods.  Here are some recommendations for patients wearing braces:

Avoid hard chips, pretzels, nuts or popcorn. Instead, choose pasta, soft breads and cooked rice.

Avoid sticky candy such as licorice, Starburst or caramels. If you desire something sweet, you can have a bite of chocolate, or soft cake.  Just try to avoid anything that’s hard and sticky.

Avoid tough meats like beef jerky. These hard meats tend to make your brackets and wires loosen.  Instead, opt for ground meats, hamburgers, hotdogs and soft cooked chicken.

Be careful with hard breads, pizza crust or bagels. Sometimes biting into these will cause your brackets to come off. Feel free to enjoy soft breads, tortillas, biscuits and muffins.

If you like fruits, make sure to cut them up into small pieces. Biting into a hard apple can have unexpected consequences. Soft fruits like bananas, peaches are perfect choices.

Don’t chew on ice or hard objects or bite your nails. Chewing on these hard surfaces is a guaranteed way to damage your braces.

Indulge in your favorite smoothies, milkshakes, ice cream, frozen yogurt. Just make sure to brush your teeth so you can remove any sugar from your teeth.

What to do if you get food stuck in your braces?

Even if you follow the recommendations given, it’s inevitable that you may get some food stuck in your braces. For this reason, make it a habit to head to the bathroom after every meal to clean your teeth. Start by swishing water around your mouth and spitting it out. Repeat several times. Next, use a small toothpick to remove food particles from around your braces. Finally, carry a small toothbrush and thoroughly brush your teeth.  This 3-step approach will keep your braces free from lingering foods and your teeth cavity-free!

Happy 4th of July Austin!

Dr. RJ Jackson