Foods to Avoid with Braces

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If you were given the option between braces and no braces—we all know what your choice would most likely be. However, although they aren’t the most visually appealing, they are very important for the health of your teeth and mouth. To make your experience of wearing braces more tolerable, you will likely have been advised by an orthodontist about the types of food you should avoid while wearing braces. This brief article showcases the advice of orthodontist Dr Angelina Loo to give you some top tips for improving your experience with braces by outlining which foods to avoid. Some foods should be avoided right after getting braces, while others should be avoided for the whole braces-wearing period.

Foods you should NOT eat right after getting braces

The following list of foods should be avoided where possible soon after getting your braces fitted. Although these foods are generally considered ‘safe’ to consume for people with braces, if they are eaten soon after the fitting, they may cause considerable irritation in your mouth due to the pressure and sensitivity created by the braces.

These foods include:

  • Spicy foods
  • Citrus (orange, lemon, lime)
  • Ice cream
  • Thick cut bread or rolls
  • Thick cuts of meat

The good news is that once your teeth are used the braces, you can easily consume these foods without giving it a second thought! It may come completely down to personal preference as to when you first feel comfortable enough with your braces to be able to eat these. For some, it may be as little as a week, however, for others—it could be a couple of months. Make sure you consult your orthodontist for their expert opinion if you are unsure.

Foods you should NEVER eat after getting braces

While the previous foods CAN be consumed a short while after fitting, some foods simply should not be consumed for the whole duration of having braces. Although some foods on this list may be your favorites now, you may have to put their consumption on hold for the duration of your braces-wearing period.

  • Ice
  • Hard rolls (e.g. bagels)
  • Chewing gum
  • Chewy candy (e.g. toffee)
  • Pretzels
  • Chips (yes, you read that correctly…)
  • Pizza crust
  • Crackers
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Raw vegetables

To put it simply, sticky or hard foods damage the bands and wires that maintain the stability of the braces. These foods can also damage the brackets around the tooth, causing them to detach from the tooth—defeating the purpose of the braces (and sending you straight back to the orthodontist).

Some Rules to Follow

Although your orthodontist will most likely go over these rules with you, it doesn’t hurt o have a quick reminder: Avoid sugar: Whether it’s a can of coca-cola or a bar of chocolate, if you have braces and want to get rid of them as soon as possible, avoiding sugar is one of the best things you can do. When sugar mixes with saliva, plaque starts to coat your teeth. Although plaque can be easily removed through regular brushing, brushing teeth when having braces is considerably tougher and more time-consuming. This information may come to the relief of many parents who wish to find a convincing reason not to feed their child any unhealthy sugary snacks. That said, the odd sweet treat every so often shouldn’t cause too many issues.

Final thoughts

When understanding food and braces—especially if it’s your first time wearing them—it is important to establish the difference between foods that should be avoided soon after fitting and foods that should be avoided altogether. Braces are ultimately fitted to improve the dental health of individuals and to avoid having to wear them for an extensive period, following the dietary advice in this brief article is recommended. You won’t have to sacrifice looking cool for very long if you take care of what you eat while wearing braces.

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