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At the beginning of orthodontic treatment, most patients are advised on the foods that they should not consume. Hard and sticky treats can damage brackets, while acid foods can wear away tooth enamel. One issue that orthodontic patients don't often think about is staining. 

Individuals who have ceramic braces or use clear rubber bands need to pay close attention to what they eat or their appliances may appear to be dirty. When it comes to foods that can stain, we're not just talking about coffee or dark sodas. According to the New York City-based aesthetic dentist Dr. Marc Liechtung, healthy foods like berries can be some of the biggest staining culprits. 

"So, if you're crazy for berries, be sure to rinse out your mouth thoroughly with water after each indulgence," Liechtung said in a press release. 

Dr. Liechtung said that other foods that may stain your teeth include: 

  • Balsamic vinegar 
  • Beets 
  • Curry 
  • Red wine 
  • Soy sauce. 

So what can you do to keep your braces as clean as possible? Here are a few tips: 

  • Get your ligatures changed regularly, and consider using light blue or gray or colored bands instead of clear, as they are less prone to staining. 
  • If you smoke, stop. Cigarette smoke can ruin ceramic braces and nicotine often gives ligatures a yellow tinge. 
  • Rinse, brush and floss your teeth after eating any foods that stain. 

If you're interested in learning about the types of orthodontic braces that may work for you, your best source of information is a New York City Orthodontist. Contact the friendly staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists today to schedule an initial consultation. We would be happy to meet with you!

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