An orthodontist for over two decades, William Fay, DDS, maintains two private practices in the Bay Area. With a focus on cosmetic orthodontics and self-ligating braces, William Fay, DDS, works with patients to discreetly correct alignment problems and achieve beautiful and aesthetic results. Hi is also a cofounder of medical aesthetic company MIBA Medical, Inc.
Self-ligating braces can correct a wide range of alignment issues without the use of elastic bands, but as with all dental equipment, they still require care to avoid tooth decay. It is common knowledge that a healthy diet consists of plenty of fruits and natural grains, but there are a few caveats for people with braces to consider.
Although citrus are great source of vitamins and natural sugars, research shows that lemon juice and grapefruit juice are both highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel. Orange juice ranked the least acidic in the study, but experts still recommend brushing and flossing after each serving. Red and white wines are also slightly acidic and have the added side effect of drying out the mouth and possibly staining teeth.
For grains, avoid firm breads such as bagels or pizza crust, which can dislodge brackets with enough force. Chewing gum can help remove food deposits from hard-to-reach areas, but it will be a bigger liability if it becomes lodged in between brackets and corrective wiring. To avoid this, sugar-free gum fortified with xylitol, which is less sticky and can remove food particles while preventing cavities, can be a good option for individual with braces.
Always discuss any concerns with your dental care provider.