When you receive your braces, your orthodontist will go through with you the importance of avoiding some foods.
The list can seem fairly long and daunting at first, but it’s important to remember that it will really help your braces to work efficiently. Choosing the right foods will not only help make your orthodontic treatment more comfortable, but you’ll also minimise the number of extra trips to the orthodontist to fix any issues. Keeping your braces safe from damage will also help keep your teeth and gums healthy too.
So firstly, what foods can’t you eat?
What can’t I eat with braces?
When you get braces it’s vital to steer clear of hard crunchy foods. These can include foods like hard candy and ice as well as crunchy bread, popcorn and taco shells. Biting down on crunchy food can damage your wires and brackets, even snapping them off your teeth. Not only is this painful for you, but it can also affect the straightening process, making the overall treatment time longer.
We also recommend you steer clear of sticky food like gum, lollies and chocolates. These products will easily get stuck in your braces and be quite difficult to remove. It’s challenging enough to keep your teeth clean with braces, so don’t make it harder for yourself to keep your teeth happy and healthy. Also, foods which require you use your teeth to tear at like corn on the cob should be avoided, as well as other hard raw vegetables. For example, biting down on a raw carrot is known to break the wire and bracket.
As always, we suggest limiting your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks. These include soft drinks, sports drinks, citrus fruits and sugary treats. Sugar causes harmful tooth decay and gum disease and should be avoided as much as possible.
In that case, what are some braces-friendly foods?
What foods can I eat with braces?
When you first receive your braces you will have some discomfort and sensitivity because your teeth are starting to move. You will find out quickly that you will be naturally drawn to soft foods like soups, rice, pasta and mashed potato as they won’t be painful to eat.
Don’t worry, this sensitivity shouldn’t last more than a few days and you will be back to your normal self. Once this happens you will be able to eat fairly normally. Meat, fruits, vegetables and bread can still be eaten when you have braces; you just need to make sure they are soft enough and cut into smaller pieces. This means you won’t be able to bite straight into apples and carrots, but you can still eat them when cut into small pieces.
Some of the ideal foods you can eat while wearing braces include:
- soft cheese, dips and yoghurt
- cooked vegetables
- seafood without any crunchy shells
- soft fruits like bananas, kiwis, and berries
- tender meat
- grains, rice and pasta
But how strict do you need to be?
What happens if I eat what I’m not supposed to?
It’s okay; we all understand the temptation of chocolate! If you happen to eat sweet or acidic food, we recommend drinking water straight away and swishing it around your mouth. It’s also important that you don’t brush your teeth for about 30 minutes afterwards. So no late night sweet treats just before bed!
If you happen to eat crunchy food and break a bracket it’s extremely important that you come in to see us as soon as you can. Broken wires and brackets can be painful as they stick into the sides of your mouth. They will also affect your treatment so it’s important to get another bracket or wire fitted as soon as possible so that your braces are doing their job properly and you don’t add any extra time to your treatment.
If you need a full list of the foods you can eat and the foods to avoid contact us at AAA Orthodontics today.