Dental braces are used to straighten your teeth and rectify crooked teeth, and other tooth and jaw defects. It is important to take care of braces and maintain hygiene for good dental health. If food remains in and around the braces, it can lead to the formation of plaque and tooth decay. If that occurs, it warrants a visit to your dentist/orthodontist, which is expensive and can even delay the treatment. Here is the most obvious list of foods to be avoided if you are wearing braces.
Foods to be Avoided
What you eat and do not eat will directly affect the condition of your teeth. The foods mentioned below should be strictly avoided.
Sometimes, it's difficult to break and chew certain foods. Eating these foods can be harmful because they can bend or break the wires and even displace the brackets. Avoid them especially after you have had the braces' wires changed, since teeth are the most tender at this stage.
- Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts)
- Hard rolls
- Raw veggies like carrots and celery
- Corn on the cob
- Hard cookies
- Baby back ribs
- Chicken wings
- Hard pizza crust
- Beef jerky
- Tacos and tortilla chips
- Fruits are an essential part of a balanced diet, so if you want to eat apples, pears, and peaches, or other crunchy fruits, do not directly bite into them. Instead cut them into bite-size pieces before consuming.
- If you like nuts, grind them and add them to cereals and yogurt.
- Remove the meat from wings and ribs so you do not accidentally chew on a bone and pop your bracket!
- If you absolutely love corn, remove the kernels from the cob and have them.
- You can eat broccoli and other crunchy veggies provided you cut them into small pieces and steam them.
- Do not eat hard candies and lollipops.
- Can't resist cookies? Dip them in milk and eat them when they soften.
- Do not have ice cubes at all as it can damage the braces. You can suck on them, but never bite them!
Sweet, Sugary, and Sticky Foods
Sticky foods are the most dangerous, they can get stuck to your teeth and braces, and can even result in the braces getting pulled off. Sugary foods, as the name implies, are high in sugar, and their consumption can lead to tooth decay.
- Caramel candies
- Chocolate-covered nuts
- Fruit rolls
- Chewing gum
- If at all you have candies, have the ones you can suck on, and afterwards, rinse your mouth to avoid sugar buildup on the teeth.
- Totally avoid chewing gum and bubble gum. Gum stuck on the braces can be messy and difficult to clean. It can also loosen the wires and brackets and cause them to come off.
Foods High in Acid
These highly acidic foods should be avoided at all costs. These foods can cause thinning of the enamel and discoloration of teeth. Once you remove the braces, the color difference between the teeth, where the braces were, will be quite obvious.
- Citrus fruits like lemons and limes
- Sodas and carbonated beverages (that includes diet sodas)
Foods That Can be Consumed
- Steamed and cooked vegetables
- Fruits that are cut into pieces
- Whole grains
- Unsweetened juices
- Dairy products
Make a wise choice based on the above list of foods, now that you are aware what foods are good and what should not be consumed. Your meals need not be boring. Spice things up by trying new recipes that will not prove harmful for the braces. Rinse your mouth with thoroughly after every meal. Take care of your braces and maintain oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. Make sure that you eat a variety of healthy foods while undergoing orthodontic treatment for braces. And, it won't be long before the braces set things straight and you regain that attractive smile!