Certain foods can cause damage or are harder to brush off your teeth with braces, so it’s important to know what you should avoid. Check out these tips that will make it easy to skip problematic foods to keep your braces clean and working just as they should.
1. Curb the Crunch
Remember how carefully the orthodontist attached your braces? Crunchy and hard foods can directly damage the wires and brackets in your mouth. Avoiding these foods can keep your treatment from taking longer and prevent excess pain from bent and broken braces. Some food is off limits: no popcorn, nuts or thick tortilla chips! However, crunchy veggies like raw carrots are still healthy choices. Just cut them into bite size pieces or steam them for a few minutes to soften.
2. Sticky is Icky
Avoid foods that can get stuck in your braces. Candies like taffy and gum are easy to remember to avoid, but some food that seems soft can still get trapped in your wires. Take a break from very bready carbs like bagels, pizza crust and hard rolls. Instead, try crackers or tortillas.
3. Skip the sugar
When you have braces, it’s harder to reach your dental enamel with a toothbrush or floss. Having sugary food stuck in your teeth can cause cavities and bad breath, so swap out caramels and suckers that can cause major damage to your braces and your teeth. Look for less sticky ways to treat your sweet tooth like ice cream, and make sure to brush or rinse your mouth with water as soon as possible afterward to avoid cavities.
4. Beware your bites
Whole apples, corn on the cob, or meat on the bone can detach brackets and twist your wires. You can still enjoy all these foods, just prep them by cutting them up. Take meat off the bone and corn off the cob.
5. Rethink your drink
Drinks can be just as important to remember as food. While liquid won’t bend your wires, carbonation can damage the bracket glue and sugary drinks can give you cavities. An occasional soda or milkshake is okay, but limit these drinks to once a week. Even unsweetened coffee and tea can stain teeth, so make sure to brush or rinse your mouth as soon as you can after drinking anything but water.
6. If it’s not food, don’t chew it!
This applies to everyone, but it’s even more important when you have braces. Biting hard items like ice, pencils or fingernails is hard on your teeth and harder on your braces.
Having braces doesn’t have to mean missing out on your favorite foods. Just remember these tips to skip snacks that could damage your braces or your teeth, and before you know it you’ll have a perfect smile!