Having braces can be equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. While you’re surely looking forward to a healthy smile, it can be difficult to adjust to caring for your braces. In fact, one of the most difficult things about getting braces is adjusting your diet, and eating foods that keep your appliance in place. To help you navigate these murky waters, we’ve listed some of the foods that you should absolutely avoid if you have braces.
Starchy foods can get stuck between teeth and stick around long after a meal concludes, and that’s the problem – starchy foods stuck on teeth provide bad bacteria with sugar, which powers the bacteria to multiply and attack enamel. This problem is made worse by dental appliance, because starchy foods can easily get stuck in them. This makes the acidic attacks last longer, and has a more negative effect on teeth.
Nuts are fantastic for teeth, but terrible for oral appliances. That’s because they are very hard, and can damage oral appliances. Nuts can damage rubber bands, wires and even brackets! If you have braces, then it’s best to avoid nuts and hard foods that can damage your oral appliance.
Braces and hard candy simply don’t mix. That’s because hard candies can wreak havoc on teeth, and oral appliances. Hard candy dissolves more slowly, which allows bad bacteria longer access to the sugar they need to survive and cause havoc on teeth. This can lead to more cavities and tooth decay.
Additionally, hard candy can also crack wires, or dislodge brackets. Simply put: if you or your child has braces or an oral appliance, then you should limit or ban hard candy until they get the appliance off.
The General Rule is This…
Avoid sticky and hard foods. Sticky foods to avoid include: toffee; Tootsie Rolls, Caramels, Gum, Licorice and Starburst. Hard foods to avoid include: chips, Jolly Ranchers, Corn, Tacos and hard breads.
Hard and sticky food is very difficult to dislodge from braces, and can damage oral appliances. The best way to avoid any issues is by avoiding it all together!
Cleaning Teeth with Braces
Without braces, dentists advise to brush twice per day for two minutes at a time. However, food tends to get stuck in braces pretty easily, which can lead to acid buildup and cavities. This is why most orthodontists advise brushing 4 times per day: in the morning after breakfast, after lunch or right after school, after dinner and at bedtime. The extra brushing ensures that your mouth stays debris-free, and helps to fight cavities and potential damage to your oral appliance.
You can also help rid your mouth of debris by vigorously swishing water after each meal. The water will be able to get rid of a lot of the stuck food, but harder to reach debris will need to be brushed or flossed away.
Schedule an Appointment
Visit our office if your child has something lodged in their braces, or you are unsure about how to manage their oral appliance. Our oral health experts will work with you to ensure that they can get a healthy smile, and keep their oral appliance in shape.