Frank E. Cordray D.D.S., M.S.
Board Certified Orthodontic Specialist

Recipient, Distinguished Service Award
Dawson Center for the Advancement of Dentistry

Patient Information

Which foods should I avoid?

Basically nothing chewy, sticky, or hard.
The appliance or bands you are wearing are not indestructible. The list of *foods to avoid* include: Fritos, Doritos, or any hard chips, gum, taffy, hard rolls, hard pretzels, any sticky, chewy, and hard food. No chewing on ice, licorice, hard toast, biting into apples and raw carrots (sliced are okay), peanut brittle, candied apples, biting into hard ice cream pops, popsicles, etc, carmels, and chewy candy. Also, please do not chew on pens, pencils, or other hard objects.

Is Dr. Cordray trying to take all the fun out of my life?

Only for a little while ;) Dr. Cordray understands that it difficult to avoid many of these foods. However, the better that your orthodontic appliance functions, the sooner you should be able to have it removed. Then, you will have a beautiful smile and you can go back to enjoying all the foods that you love.


Your teeth will usually feel sore for three to five days after most orthodontic appointments. It helps to avoid hard foods or vigorous chewing until the soreness subsides. If you feel discomfort, take whatever over the counter anti-inflammatories that you normally take for pain(Advil, Tylenol, etc.). If the discomfort persists, please call our office.

Heat and cold sensitivity

During orthodontic treatment, you may find that your teeth may be sensitive to heat and cold. This is caused by the movement of your teeth; it is seldom due to decay.

Sports Mouthguards

All of our patients are strongly urged and expected to wear mouthguards during sports participation. We provide our patients with free mouthguards during orthodontic treatment and we will fit the mouthguard to your appliance. It is important that your mouthguard fit properly as an improper fitting mouthguard can prohibit tooth movement or cause breakage of appliances.

Musical Instruments

Generally, playing a wind instrument won’t interfere with orthodontic treatment unless you practice many hours each day. At first, the appliance may irritate your lips. If this becomes a problem, please let us know.

Decay / Decalcification

Your teeth may decay underneath orthodontic bands if the bands are loose. At each appointment, Dr. Cordray makes sure that your bands are tight. However, if you notice a loose band or bracket, call us as soon as possible so that we can set up a repair appointment. A more frequent problem, but one you can easily prevent, is decalcification or staining of the teeth. This may occur if you do not brush your teeth properly after each meal. Braces DO NOT cause decay/decalcification—not maintaining good oral hygiene does. Preventing this is simple and it’s up to you.

Other Dentistry

The fees for orthodontic treatment do not include any treatment in any other dental offices such as cleaning, examinations, x-rays, restorations, the removal of teeth, gum surgery, or jaw surgery. We strongly urge our patients to visit their family dentist at least every 6 months for routine check-ups. Adult patients may with to visit more ofter; we advise every 3 to 4 months.


If you have an emergency on a weekend or day that the office is closed, please call the office phone number. The message will direct you to a person who is capable of taking care of your emergency. If you are unable to contact us, contact your family dentist or call Dr. Cordray at home.

Brushing your teeth when you have orthodontic appliances (braces, retainers, etc.)

Now that you have your appliances, you must be sure to brush your teeth and gums, better than ever before. Extra care must be taken in the area between the gums and your appliance. Food that collects around your bands, brackets, and wires can cause swollen gums permanent stains (decalcification), and cavities.

Brush your teeth with a medium nylon toothbrus after you eat and before bed.