Braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment. The majority of children will need braces before they reach adulthood. Some adults even need braces.
If you’re getting braces soon, or if you’re currently experiencing your first days in braces, you should be aware of some eating restrictions that come with braces. In order to avoid damaging your braces, your teeth, or hurting your mouth, avoid the following foods and beverages.
What Are Braces?
The purpose of braces treatment is to straighten the teeth and align the bite so that the top row of teeth meets together properly with the bottom row of teeth. Braces consist of metal or ceramic brackets, small square-shaped pieces that attach to the front side of your teeth. An archwire connects all of the brackets together, using them to shift the teeth into alignment. The various parts of braces are capable of being damaged by certain foods.
Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces
Here are some foods that are best to avoid during your braces treatment:
- Popcorn. Popcorn kernels are notorious for getting stuck in your teeth, even without braces. With braces it just gets worse. Popcorn can damage your braces and get stuck between your brackets and gum, which can hurt.
- Corn chips. Corn chips form hard chunks as you chew them that can bend your archwires and loosen brackets.
- Pizza crust. Pizza crust can be extremely hard. If you attempt to bite into it, brackets may come off or disconnect from your archwire.
- Hard/crusty bread. Similar to pizza crust, the same risks apply to hard, crusty bread.
- Gum. Gum is capable of getting stuck on your brackets and archwire and is very difficult to remove.
- Sticky candy. Sticky candy can pull brackets off your teeth as you chew it.
- Hard candy. Hard candy can break and bend your braces.
- Nuts. Like hard candy, nuts can break or bend various parts of your braces.
- Hard taco shells. Hard taco shells have the same effect as corn chips.
- Ice. Chewing on ice is never a good idea for your teeth or your braces.
- Jerky. Beef jerky or jerky of any kind is too tough and can damage your braces.
Foods That Should Be Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces
You can still eat the following foods as long as you cut them into bite sized pieces:
- Crunchy fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a nutritious diet. Instead of avoiding them, simply cut them into smaller pieces that you can chew rather than bite off. Avoid biting into apples, celery, carrots, etc.
- Meat. Cut all meat into bite sized pieces, especially burgers that you would typically bite into.
- Corn on the cob. Cut corn off the cob before eating.
Beverages to Avoid While Wearing Braces
Another concern when it comes to wearing braces is staining of the teeth. The following beverages may stain your teeth so that your brackets leave white squares when they are taken off at the end of your treatment:
- Dark brown soft drinks
- Soft drinks with artificial dyes
- Grape juice
- Red wine
What Should I Do if I Break My Braces?
If a bracket comes off or a wire bends, it is nothing to worry about. However, we ask that you call us right away during regular business hours so that we can repair or reattach whatever parts have come off or been damaged. Braces can’t do their job if they are damaged or aren’t in the right place. It may even cause a delay in your treatment. So don’t wait to have them fixed.
Why Choose Demko Orthodontics?
Demko Orthodontics provides a wide range of orthodontic services and treatments, including traditional braces, clear braces, and much more. A loose bracket or bent wire can be uncomfortable, which is why we do our best to work you in right away if there is any damage to your braces.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient locations.