When you have braces, it’s important to be mindful of the foods you eat. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy a healthy diet with braces and achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.
This does not mean that you cannot indulge in a tasty snack from time to time. However, choosing foods that are not hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy can both protect your teeth against cavities and prevent any damage to your brackets and wires.
Why avoid these types of foods? Foods that can impact or place stress on your teeth can cause the brackets and wires to become displaced, misdirected, or dislodged. This can require more time to correct the damage.
Today, we will review the four main types of foods to avoid with braces. First, let’s begin with hard foods.
1: Hard Foods
There are a few reasons why someone with braces should avoid hard foods. First, hard foods have a tough consistency that can damage the braces themselves. Bent wires and loose brackets are more likely to occur if you’re eating hard foods that are impacting the metalwork on a regular basis.
Second, hard foods are more likely to get stuck in your braces, which can be both painful and difficult to remove. Pieces of food can become lodged in between the wires and brackets and also contribute to bad breath if not removed.
Finally, hard foods can damage your teeth. Your teeth are already under a lot of pressure when you have braces, and eating hard foods can place more stress on them.
Examples of hard foods could include:
- Hard candy
2: Crunchy Foods
Similar to hard foods, ones that are crunchy place additional pressure on the teeth. Because crunchy foods often require plenty of repetitive biting and chewing in a short period of time, this repetitive strain on the brackets and wires can cause them to become loose or dislodged completely.
If you do eat crunchy food on occasion, be sure to eat it slowly and in limited portions while you have braces. This can place less strain on your teeth as you’re eating. Be sure to brush your teeth and use floss, dental picks, or mouthwash after eating to clear out any particles of food.
3: Sticky Foods
There are three primary reasons why someone with braces should avoid eating sticky foods.
First, sticky foods can easily get stuck in between the brackets and wires of braces, which can be both difficult to remove and painful. Secondly, sticky foods can cause the wires of braces to bend or loosen, which can lengthen the time required to achieve the desired results. They can also become dislodged if you are trying to forcefully remove particles of food.
Finally, eating sticky foods can lead to an increase in cavities and tooth decay. The sugar and starch in these foods can linger on teeth and promote the growth of bacteria. If you want to treat yourself to something sweet, opt for something that does not have a solid or gummy-like consistency and enjoy it in small portions.
4: Chewy Foods
Chewy foods can be difficult to eat with braces and can also wreak havoc on your brackets and wires. The sticky texture of chewy foods can cause your braces to come loose, and pieces can easily become stuck in the metalwork. If you do eat chewy foods, be sure to cut them into small pieces and brush your teeth thoroughly after.
What Kind of Foods Should You Choose with Braces?
Now that we have covered some types of foods to avoid with braces, you might be wondering what can you enjoy eating? There are still many delicious options to choose from that will help protect your braces.
Soft fruits and vegetables, such as bananas and cooked carrots, are a great choice for eating with braces. Soups and stews are also good options, as long as they aren’t too thick or chunky.
Additionally, dairy products like yogurt are an excellent choice for people with braces. You can select from a wide variety of flavors with a smooth consistency that does not stick to or impact the brackets and wires.
Get Braces in St. Augustine, FL Today
At Henry Advanced Orthodontics, we strive to provide courteous and patient-focused service to the city of St. Augustine and the surrounding communities. If you want to learn more about braces or are interested in seeking orthodontic treatment, contact us today.