8 Foods to Avoid When Wearing Braces
Braces technology has come a long way over the years. Today’s braces are extremely sturdy, but it is important to follow the proper precautions to prevent any damage. Food can be a real threat to your brace’s hardware. Though maintaining a well-balanced diet is essential to your overall health, teeth included, finding ways and things to eat that won’t damage your braces is crucial to stay on track with your treatment plan.
It isn’t realistic to expect you to adhere to a strict diet, but the following simply serve as recommendations so you can be conscious of how food impacts your braces. This knowledge will at least help you take the proper precautions when it comes to potentially damaging foods.
Foods to Avoid
While you have braces you should avoid foods that are hard, sticky or overly chewy as they can damage your wires and/or brackets and decrease the effectiveness of your treatment. While not a complete list, here are the primary culprits that can cause issues with your braces:
- Crunchy fruit/vegetables
- Bagels and other hard bread
- Hard candy
- Corn on the Cob
It’s also important to limit highly acidic and sugary foods and drinks. Acidic foods and drinks can harm your tooth enamel while sweets create plaque and brushing your teeth to remove plaque is harder to do with braces. This increases your chance of tooth decay and potentially gum disease.
As for foods that typically don’t cause any interference with your braces treatments, the softer and lower the acidity level, the better. These foods are both gentle on your braces and your teeth, effectively minimizing the likelihood of damaging your braces. Here are just a few of the many foods that are braces-friendly:
- Mashed potatoes
- Soft fruits (ie, banana, avocado)
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Soft cooked vegetables
Tips for Preparing Hard Foods
We know you can’t always avoid hard foods through the duration of your treatment. In fact, many hard fruits and vegetables are actually great for your teeth. If you do decide to eat hard foods, here’s what you can do to minimize the chance of damage to your braces:
- Avoid using your front teeth when biting something hard
- Cut up hard, tough or chewy foods into small, bite-sized pieces
- Cook vegetables for a softer texture
Adjusting to having braces and what foods you should or shouldn’t avoid can be tough, but with time it will become second nature. In addition, these are just recommendations and we highly encourage a well-balanced diet. If you do notice a wire or bracket has come loose, contact us right away.