Even though braces are durable, they’re also very delicate, especially when it comes to eating. The majority of braces are made up of parts that include stainless steel brackets (attached to teeth by using dental glue, archwires (connect brackets, gently guiding the teeth into place) and rubber bands to hold archwires to the brackets. For the most part, braces are extremely sturdy, however, some foods can potentially separate the brackets can cause damage to the teeth. If they’re treated with care, including cleaning them properly, braces can will deliver the perfect smile.
Following are a few foods (and non-food items) that you should avoid when wearing braces.
Chewy, Stick to Your Teeth and Braces, Foods
Chewy, sticky foods like candies and gum can cause a lot of damage to braces. Besides being full of bacteria producing sugar and leaving a residue on braces that can be difficult clean, hard candy and gum are sticky enough to pull your braces away from the teeth. This will call for an appointment with your orthodontist for reattachment and can end up slowing down the treatment process. Basically, it’s best to just avoid sticky/chewy foods altogether.
Some foods are just too tough to be eaten with braces. These include popcorn, nuts, hard breads and candies. Biting into these foods can separate or bend brackets away from your teeth, and popcorn can end up lodged in the gums under the bracket, which can severely irritate the gums.
Foods You Shouldn’t Eat using the fronts of Your Teeth
Apples, corn on the cob, spare ribs, celery, carrot and chicken wings are good examples of foods that you shouldn’t eat with the front of your teeth with braces. Instead, cut them into small pieces and/or remove them from the hard parts (bone, etc.) if you plan on eating them. Small pieces of food can be chewed using your molars, keeping the braces in place.
Sugar Laden Foods
Itís always a hoof idea to refrain from sugary foods as often as possible, but it is especially important if you’re wearing braces. Besides the sticky candy and gum mentioned above, you’d be surprised at how many foods are loaded with sugar, including sodas and sauces like teriyaki sauce as well as snacks like, ice cream and more, all having the potential of causing heavy plaque buildup. If plaque buildup isnít dealt with soon after consumption, it can cause white spots on the teeth, swollen gums and decay.
Non-Food Habit Problems
If you’re wearing braces, now’s the time to beat old habits like chewing, not only on your nails, but pen caps and other non-edible things. These kinds of hard objects can quickly bend and/or break your brackets and even damage your teeth if you don’t wear braces.
Besides common sense, if you ever have questions regarding whether a specific food is safe to eat with braces, contact your orthodontist. It’s their goal to help you not only achieve, but maintain a beautiful smile.