If you, your child, or another family member have just been fitted with fixed braces, you may still be getting used to feeling the metal brackets and wires. You will want to take care of them, and the foods you eat and drink are an important part of that care. Read on for some important tips.
Eating and Drinking — Tips to Keep Your Braces in Good Condition
There are some limitations when it comes to foods and drinks that are recommended while you are wearing braces, but it is a short list! The following foods and drinks can cause damage to the wires and brackets in your braces. Some might even cause pain, and we don’t want you to find that out the hard way. So, avoid the following (unless modified as noted):
Raw fruits and vegetables: Apples, pears, corn on the cob, carrots, potatoes, radishes, and any uncooked fruit or vegetable that is hard. Biting into any of these foods can break the wires and brackets, requiring a hasty visit to our office for repairs. Exception: Cutting the fruit or vegetable into small bites or sticks or cook to soften them prior to eating.
Popcorn: The kernels can get trapped in the braces or between your gums and braces. Sometimes, we must remove the braces in that area to get the kernels out.
Whole nuts — and ice: Hard nuts can break wires and move brackets, but when they have been flaked or ground, this is no longer a threat. Crunching on ice can easily break the wires — it’s just not worth it.
Hard or crusty bread and pizza crust and bagels: Some breads are incredibly hard to bite into and then require a lot of chewing. All this activity can bend the wires and push the brackets around. Remove the hard crust and eat the soft insides if you just can’t resist. Other treats like pretzels and corn chips should also be avoided when they are especially hard.
Tough meat, burgers, and sub sandwiches: Steak and other dense meats can also harm your braces, partly due to the amount of chewing required. Try to eat soft meats that are easier to chew, and always cut the meat into small bites. Biting into burgers and sub sandwiches can be a recipe for disaster. Cut them into bite-size pieces and you can still indulge.
Caramel, licorice, and other sticky candies and chewing gum: You might guess that these are a nightmare when it comes to braces. Stuck in the arch wires, they don’t create a pretty picture — especially the licorice — and they can cause the wires to break. Even if you evade breakage the first time, additional exposure can lead to breakage or cause the brackets to shift.
Sugary drinks, red wine, and turmeric: Sugar from soft drinks, red wine, and the yellow color in turmeric can all stain your teeth, so it is best to avoid them. Sugar in drinks can also lead to tooth decay.
A Couple More Tips
As you can see, the list isn’t long — there are so many other foods you can enjoy without limitation. You will, however, need to follow these food guidelines until your braces are removed.
If you have questions or concerns about your or your child’s braces, call us today. We are ready to answer your questions and help you be more comfortable.
The Team at The Best Braces