5 Foods To Avoid During Your Braces Treatment

5 Foods To Avoid During Your Braces Treatment
Posted on 07/03/2018

Young girl smiling with toothbrush and flossAt Dr. Gordon Niles Orthodontics in Brighton, MI, we know just how much of a pain having braces can be! From countless orthodontist visits getting your archwires tightened, to the constant presence of clunky metal in your mouth, having braces can be a real drag. In order to keep your braces experience as easy as possible, it’s important to keep your mouth clean and free of items that can damage your braces, and that means avoiding certain types of foods and drinks!

Eating With Braces

Although braces have become sturdier with modern advances in technology, it’s still important to avoid hard, sticky foods that can damage your hardware and your teeth. These types of foods can hurt various components of your braces, such as snapping rubber bands, bending your archwires in the wrong direction, or accidentally removing a bracket entirely. Every time something goes wrong with your braces, it extends your treatment timeout further...meaning you have to wear your braces even longer!

What You Shouldn’t Eat

If you have braces, it’s important to avoid certain types of foods that can increase your risk for cavities, or damage your braces. At Gordon Niles Orthodontics, our expert staff has put together a list of 5 types of foods that can damage your braces during treatment, generate plaque acid, cause tooth decay, and promote gum disease:

  1. Popcorn - It may not seem like it, but popcorn is the worst thing you can eat with braces, and that’s because of popcorn kernels! For a person without braces, popcorn kernels can cause minor discomfort, but can be relatively easily removed with floss or a toothpick. However, with braces in place, kernels can get stuck for extended periods of time, leading to extremely painful swelling of gum tissue, requiring removal of braces and wires to clean out the area.
  1. Corn On The Cob - Corn on the cob is one of the most difficult foods to eat with braces, as it requires the wearer to bite with their front teeth. Biting whole foods with your front teeth but your brackets at risk for dislodging, not to mention the amount of corn that can get stuck between your braces and teeth! Corn is perfectly fine to eat while you have braces, just make sure you cut it off the cob first.
  1. Hard Candy - Hard candy like peppermints, Jolly Ranchers, and Jawbreakers are a great way to break braces, especially if you bite down hard on the candies. Regardless if you choose to let the candy dissolve in your mouth, the high sugar content is still not great for your teeth or braces. It’s best to avoid hard candy altogether.
  1. Ice - Ice isn’t technically a food, but both adults and children love to chew on ice! Chewing on ice is not good for your teeth in general, but it’s especially bad for braces. Oftentimes, children with broken brackets admit to being adamant ice chewers. Long story short, don’t chew the ice in your drinks!
  1. Raw Carrots & Whole Apples - While surprising at first, eating raw carrots and whole apples require biting with your front teeth, which often leads to broken brackets. Like with corn on the cob above, cutting up apples and carrots makes them more manageable and less dangerous for your braces.

What You Should Eat

When you first get your braces from your Brighton Orthodontist, or if you have recently had them tightened, it’s possible that only soft foods will be manageable to eat. Foods like soups, mashed potatoes, and soft-bread sandwiches are easy to gently chew or swallow. After a few weeks of wearing your braces, your teeth and gums will begin to get used to their new hardware, allowing you to become a pro at biting and chewing your food carefully. Here are a few foods that are perfect for any braces wearer:

  1. Smoothies
  2. Mac & Cheese
  3. Ice Cream
  4. Sliced Bananas, Apples, & Carrots
  5. Scrambled Eggs

How you eat is just as important as the foods you choose to eat during your braces treatment! As the number one rule of thumb, chewing slowly and steadily is key to not biting down on something with too much force. As a second rule, it’s important to cut up all foods that can be cut into smaller pieces, as it will make it easier to get through your meal with little interference of lodged foods. As a third and final rule, biting with the sides of your mouth (using your molars) is typically easier and less uncomfortable, and also prevents getting your meal stuck in your front brackets.

Contact Your Brighton Orthodontist Today!

Dr. Gordon Niles and our staff want mealtime to be a breeze for any braces wearer in Brighton, MI! Knowing what foods to avoid while wearing braces is critical to achieving a shorter treatment time, as well as knowing what foods you can safely enjoy to keep your mouth happy and healthy during the process. For more information on safeguarding your braces from harmful foods and drinks, don’t hesitate to contact us today!