Foods to Avoid With Traditional Braces

 In Oral Health

The American Dental Association says that there are many brace options available to correct an abnormal bite and doing so can help prevent future problems such as:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth loss
  • Affected speech and/or chewing
  • Abnormal wear to tooth enamel
  • Jaw problems

But, traditional braces pose different challenges than more advanced treatments like Accusmile® and we want to be sure our clients know which foods to avoid.

First, knowing the structure of traditional braces can help explain why certain foods are not advisable for clients receiving this corrective treatment.

Small brackets are attached to each individual tooth. An archwire is then “threaded” through each bracket to apply the appropriate pressure (pushing or pulling) to each tooth that is in need of straightening.

Elastic ligatures are sometimes used to attach to the brackets to hold the archwire in place. Molar bands are attached to the rearmost molar teeth and are used to tighten or loosen the archwire as your teeth begin to shift and your jaw bones repair themselves gradually to accommodate the shifting teeth.

Foods to Avoid

When you first get your braces, your mouth may be tender so take time to avoid any hard or crunchy foods (even the healthy ones like raw veggies) as these can irritate your mouth while it acclimates to the new braces. Here are some foods to avoid with traditional braces:

  • Popcorn
    • Popcorn is a crunchy, salty snack that’s great when watching a movie but it’s actually not a favorable snack for good oral health whether you have braces or not! The small kernels in popcorn can wedge between your teeth, get caught in your brace brackets, and can even cause abscesses and infections of the gums.
  • Sticky Foods
    • Sticky foods like caramel or gum can get lodged in the braces and be nearly impossible to remove.
  • Hard Foods
    • Cookies, hard candy, hard chips, even croutons can cause damage to the structure of the braces.
  • Crispy Foods
    • Foods that you have to bite into with your front teeth should be avoided. Things like apples, corn on the cob, and hard breads should be avoided.

If you need a good snack for healthy teeth and gums while wearing braces, try to stick with softer fruits and veggies like bananas or mashed potatoes. If you have the urge to eat something sweet, tr to stick with fruit yogurt or pudding.

Remember: No matter what you eat, keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces requires tenacity and the foods you eat can make keeping them clean either easier or more difficult.

In the end, you’ll be glad you maintained your braces when you are admiring your new winning smile.

Contact us today to find out more about traditional braces and any other orthodontic treatment options you are considering.

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