While wearing braces, most foods can still be eaten if you cut them into small pieces that can be easily chewed. There are certain foods, however, that can break or loosen braces and should be avoided, such as:
- Hard or tough-to-bite foods, such as apples or bagels
- Chewy foods, such as taffy or caramels
- Corn on the cob
- Hard pretzels, popcorn, nuts, and carrots
In addition, do not chew ice or bubble gum.
Caring for Retainers
Every time you brush your teeth, brush your retainer as well, but not with toothpaste. Once a day or at least once a week, disinfect the retainer by soaking it in a denture cleanser, such as Efferdent, Polident, or other brand name solution. Add the cleanser to a cup full of warm — but never hot — water. Thoroughly rinse the retainer with plain water before placing it back in your mouth.