Braces help fix crooked teeth, gaps, or other dental issues. Dentists suggest specific braces based on what each person needs. They also recommend certain foods to avoid while wearing braces to prevent problems. This article talks about foods that are good for braces, ones that aren't, and tips for eating right when you have braces. It's all about finding brace-friendly bites!
When wearing braces, you must be mindful of what you eat and how you eat.
Hard, sticky, and carbonated foods are not brace-friendly bites because they can weaken the bond between teeth and brackets, loosen them, and delay treatment. Sugary drinks can raise the risk of cavities around the bracket slots.
Easy-to-chew and soft foods are brace-friendly bites. Talk to your orthodontist to know what foods you can take during therapy.
Foods to avoid eating when you get braces
Getting braces means committing to a treatment that often spans several months to a few years. The success of this treatment hinges greatly on your dedication to maintaining the braces in your mouth. Sticky treats, sugary delights, overly hard munchies, and fizzy drinks are on the 'do not indulge' list.
Here's a list of not brace-friendly bites. Avoiding these foods is key to safeguarding your braces and making sure they work as intended:
- Sticky foods. Steer clear of foods that are tough to chew or stick to your braces, like chewing gum, candies, caramel, pizza crusts, cakes, and crunchy bread. These foods can get stuck in your braces, making it harder to keep them clean and raising the chances of getting cavities and plaque buildup.
- Hard foods. Avoiding hard candies, popcorn, pretzels, nuts, ice cubes, and chips is a good idea when you have braces. These foods can put a sudden force on your braces, potentially causing damage to the brackets or wires.
- Acidic and carbonated beverages and drinks. Drinks like sodas, citrus juices, and energy drinks can harm your teeth and braces. The acid can cause tooth erosion and eat away at the bonding agent used to attach the braces to the tooth surface. They can also stain the enamel. Choosing water or sugar-free drinks is a better option. If you do have acidic drinks, using a straw can help protect your teeth.
- Sugary items. Too much sugar is bad for healthy teeth. With your braces on, the effect is even worse. Most of the time, despite proper brushing, the area around the braces is not cleaned properly. You increase the risk of developing spots and cavities once the treatment is completed.
The best type of food to eat when you get braces
Finding brace-friendly bites is much easier once you know what not to take. Your orthodontist will provide you with a detailed list of foods that you can eat while wearing braces.
For the first few days, foods that are soft and easy to chew are ideal. This makes it easier for you to chew on food comfortably because in the early days, the constant force from the braces and wires may cause pain. To start, try soups, oatmeals, soft fruits, and vegetables like steamed carrots, mashed sweet potatoes, melons, and grapes. Another excellent way to add extra nutrition to your diet is with smoothies.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese are all brace-friendly bites. Dentists recommend these dairy products throughout your therapy phase, mostly to level up calcium and maintain strong teeth and bones.
How to eat food properly with braces
The way you eat also affects the outcome of your treatment, in addition to what you eat. Make sure to break down your food into small bites. Chew with your molars. If you can not stay away from sugary beverages altogether, sip through a straw. After eating, wash your mouth. Use a soft brush to remove plaque buildup.
Eating the wrong foods with braces
Choosing the right foods matters when you have braces. It's crucial for your treatment's success. Brace therapy happens in phases, and your orthodontist has planned each step carefully.
Eating certain foods can make your braces come off, bands get loose, or wires move out of place. When this happens, it messes up the force needed to shift your teeth, slowing down the treatment. It can take longer to see results and cause delays in different phases of the treatment.
What to do after the accident
If you are dealing with a broken wire or a loose bracket, it is best to see your orthodontist. Your dentist will look into the matter and readjust the parts. This will help re-establish the force around your teeth. To prevent future mishaps, your dentist may also advise you to get some X-rays or provide you with specific instructions.
What foods to avoid when you have braces?
When you have braces, it's best to avoid sticky, chewy, or hard foods like caramel, chewing gum, hard candies, nuts, and popcorn. These types of foods can get stuck in your braces or cause damage to the wires and brackets.
How long after braces can I eat normally?
After placing braces, you might feel some discomfort and pressure. During this phase, try to stick to soft and easy-to-chew foods. With some adjustments, you should be able to eat normally within a week.
Can food damage braces?
Eating improper foods can cause damage to your braces. Try to avoid hard, sticky, sugary, and acidic foods and drinks throughout your therapy. These foods can erode the enamel, weaken the bond between teeth and brackets, and even develop cavities.
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