Orthodontic braces are used to straighten teeth and also correct to any bite problems. However, braces can only do this when they are properly cared for. Certain food should be avoided to ensure the ideal outcome is obtained in the shortest time possible. Eating the wrong foods can cause discomfort, but can also cause the braces or wires to break off the teeth. This requires unscheduled trips to your orthodontist and will increase your overall treatment time.
Some types of food can get caught in the braces and if it is not removed thoroughly, this allows the bacteria to grow and damage your teeth. This is often not noticed until the braces are removed and can cause irreversible stains on the teeth.
There are some foods which are great to eat during treatment and some which are not.
Safe foods for braces?
The best foods to eat with braces are those that are not high in sugar and do not require excessive chewing. For breakfast, try eggs, yoghurt, wheat toast, or oatmeal, and steer clear of crunchy granola.
For lunches, substitute a banana instead of an apple, and try a salad without nuts or a simple sandwich, with a glass of water to wash it all down. If you are looking for some after-school snacks for your kids, consider baked tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, or try string cheese with fruit.
A healthy dinner can include most types of vegetables, so long as they are cooked to an appropriate softness. Pair these with a lean protein, such as fish or chicken, and follow up with dessert. Just be sure to brush afterwards!
As braces begin to change the position of the teeth your orthodontist will periodically need to adjust them to continue the alignment process. After each adjustment appointment (about every 5-8 weeks), the teeth may be a little bit sore and sensitive to certain foods for a few days. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods that require minimal chewing.
Foods to avoid with braces
It is very important to stay away from certain foods during your orthodontic treatment. Hard, sticky or sugary foods can result in damage to your braces and teeth.
Some foods, such as apples and carrots, can be eaten if they are chopped up first and chewed on the back teeth. Biting into these foods will cause the braces to come off the tooth.
Considerations for eating with braces
Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay.
If you’re wanting to ensure the best results from your orthodontic treatment it is very important that you follow the advice about safe foods for braces that is set out above and ask your orthodontist if you have any questions about your specific treatment.