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Foods to Avoid with Braces

Posted in Orthodontics

Certain foods, such as hard candy, pretzels and gum, can cause harm to braces and other orthodontic components. Patients should avoid these foods when wearing braces, according to our BC and Alberta orthodontists.

While braces have become more durable over time, we still need to exercise caution to avoid damaging them. If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, it's critical to avoid certain foods that might increase your risk of causing damage to your braces or developing cavities. 

The formation of plaque acid can partly be caused by starchy, sugary meals. This can lead to tooth decay and the progression of gum disease. Sweets that are chewy or sticky, such as toffee, fudge or caramel, can cause wire damage and loosen brackets as well. 

What food should someone who is wearing braces avoid?

People with braces should avoid any meals that are chewy, sticky or firm since they can damage braces or reduce the effectiveness of their braces' impact. Foods to avoid when wearing braces include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Corn chips and pretzels 
  • Hard cookies or crackers
  • Sticky/hard candy 
  • Sticky/hard chocolate 
  • Gum 
  • Ice
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts 

What food can someone who is wearing braces eat?

We normally recommend that people who wear braces eat foods that are soft, since they are less harsh on the hardware. Foods that you can consume during your treatment with braces include the following, to name a few examples:

  • Peanut butter and jelly 
  • Soft fruits without pits (bananas, grapes, strawberries, etc.)
  • Light crackers or cookies
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Hullless popcorn 
  • Cheese 
  • Yogurt 
  • Pasta and other noodle dishes

Wearers of braces should also avoid biting into hard meals with their front teeth when they are wearing braces. When it is feasible, chop up the following hard meals into smaller pieces to make them more manageable:

  • Raw vegetables 
  • Hard bread or rolls
  • Fruit 
  • Thin crust pizza
  • Meat and Burgers
  • Corn on the cob

Teeth straightening with braces can take some years, and any damage to the braces' wires or brackets can lengthen the time of your therapy. Make sure you eat things that are safe for you to eat while wearing braces, and that you take proper care of your dental health.

How can I keep my braces clean?

To begin, remove any elastics, bands, or removable orthodontic components from your mouth and secure them in an out-of-the-mouth area. After that, fill a cup halfway with water and rinse your mouth with it. By swishing a tiny quantity of water around the inside of your mouth, you can dislodge food particles and other foreign objects.

Bear in mind the 45-degree rule when brushing your braces. Brush the bottom teeth slightly upward to provide access to the bracket groove, and the top teeth slightly downward to allow access to the bracket groove as well. The majority of the time, food will become trapped on the sides of your braces and in between your cheek and teeth. Develop the habit of brushing your teeth with a toothpick or floss after meals. This should make brushing more manageable.

When wearing braces, flossing is still feasible. To get behind the wire, though, you should use dental floss with hardpoints or flossing lassos. Additionally, you may want a toothbrush with stiffer bristles to avoid getting your brushes stuck in or damaged by your brackets.

To learn more about orthodontic treatment with braces, contact our BC and Alberta orthodontists

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