Braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments, and also the most effective. The majority of orthodontic issues can be corrected with braces, making them a good choice for most patients.
Getting braces put on your teeth does require some adjustment and some changes to your daily habits, such as eating. There are some foods that your orthodontist will recommend that you don’t eat while wearing braces in order to prevent damage and discomfort. Here are the top foods that are best to avoid during your braces treatment.
Hard candy can damage your braces in a variety of ways. When you bite on hard candy it can bend wires or cause brackets to come off of your teeth. The sugar will also cling to your teeth and braces, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
Sticky candy such as taffy, gummies, caramel, and other chewy candies can bend or break your braces. They also stick to them, trapping other food particles and increasing the amount of plaque that builds up on your teeth, putting you at a higher risk of tooth decay.
Corn chips, tortilla chips, doritos, taco shells, and any other corn-based crunchy food is not good for braces. These tend to form hard clusters that get caught under wires, bending them out of place and potentially harming your treatment progress. They can also cause brackets to pop off when you bite into them.
Nuts tend to be hard in general, and chewing them can damage your braces. They also get stuck in your braces in a similar way to corn ships, forming hard clusters that may bend wires.
Pretzels can be extremely hard. Even some that are meant to be soft will harden as they cool or become stale. Biting or chewing pretzels can damage your braces or cause brackets to come off your teeth.
6.Hard bread products.
Similar to pretzels, any hard or crusty bread can damage your braces when you bite or chew it. This includes bagels, pizza crust, Italian bread, baguettes, scones, and any other type of hard bread or pastry.
7.Crunchy fruits and vegetables.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. We recommend cutting these up into bite size pieces to avoid damaging your brackets when you bite into them. Avoid biting into apples, celery, carrots, and any other hard or crunchy fruits and veggies.
It is always best not to chew on ice, with or without braces. Ice can damage braces as well as your teeth.
Learn More About Braces from Dr. Suzanne Stock
If you think orthodontic treatment may benefit you or your child, contact us at one of our 4 convenient locations to schedule a complimentary consultation. We recommend that every child have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7 or as soon as possible after. Early treatment may be necessary for some, and others may need periodic monitoring until the time is right to begin treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Eating With Braces
What should I do if a bracket comes off or a wire is loose?
Even if you avoid the foods listed above, a bracket or wire may still come loose. Contact us during regular office hours and we will make time for you to come in and have your braces fixed. If it is after hours, please call the next day when we open. In most cases a loose bracket or wire is not an emergency. If it is poking your mouth, place orthodontic wax over it until we can see you.
What if I accidentally swallow a bracket?
Swallowing a bracket may happen if it comes off while you are eating. It is no cause for concern. Brackets are very small and will easily pass through you in a few days. They are also made of biocompatible materials that will not harm your system.