What Foods Will Harm My Braces?

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You just finished a consultation with your orthodontist. You’re excited about the prospect of braces giving you the smile you’ve always wanted. But deep down, you’re hesitant. You know the only way braces will be effective is if you cut out certain foods and you’re just not sure if you can.  The truth is, you can, and along with the list of prohibited foods, you can have a successful braces treatment.

The Process

Getting braces installed should have a similar process for all orthodontic practices. You may be in the office for an hour or longer. The orthodontist or orthodontic assistant may be the one to put on your braces.

After cleaning your teeth, he’ll apply the brackets on top of each tooth, cementing them on with a bonding glue. The archwire is connected through each bracket and will be responsible for exerting pressure to move your teeth.

Once you’re examined, you’ll be sent home with instructions on how to make this a productive treatment. Now, the real test begins.

Food to Avoid

After getting braces, you’ll be sore for a few days to a week. This will be a good time to refer to the list of prohibited foods given to you by your orthodontist.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. To ensure you protect your braces, here are some common foods patients are encouraged to avoid:

  • Caramel
  • Popcorn
  • Hard candy like jawbreakers
  • Hard taco shells
  • Pretzels
  • Hard vegetables like carrots
  • Pizza crust
  • Sticky, gooey food like Laffy Taffy

The archwire is responsible for helping your teeth move, but it’s not indestructible; therefore, it’s not uncommon for certain foods to damage it. The last thing you want is for inconvenience to set back/prolong your treatment time. No one wants to be in braces longer than they have to. Unless it’s always been your dream to live with braces as long as possible.

Foods You Could Try

Because your mouth will be sore post-treatment, you may likely want to avoid what’s on the list. However, after healing, you may have that urge to resume your old eating habits. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here is a list of appealing foods recommended to patients. They include:

  • Fruits like bananas and melons
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Applesauce
  • Soup
  • Seafood like tuna and salmon

If you’ve always had a healthy diet, eating foods recommended by your orthodonist may be another easy day in the park. If you’ve never been interested in healthy eating, now is the time to start. Temptations don’t go away. You may be used to eating sticky food for a snack, but now you’ll have to think twice. Otherwise, what may seem like an innocent piece of candy could have you scheduling an appointment with your orthodontist to have some part of your braces repaired.

Find an alternative to bubble gum. Instead of something tough like mints, try  Listerine breath strips. Also, there are certain aspects of eating you may have to change. For example, no longer should you take large bites into food. You’ll need to cut up something like meat into smaller pieces. If your friends or significant other jests, remember they’re not the ones wearing braces, an investment of your money.

You are Responsible for the Success of Treatment

Having braces for one to two years doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. It’s just a time period of adapting to change. So if you’re reluctant to commit to braces—

because of uncertainty regarding food habits—try changing those habits beforehand. Get accustomed to more nutritional foods like greens and soft fruits. Discipline yourself and resist urges for that Snickers candy bar. Millions have had successful braces treatments thanks in part to following the guidelines provided by their respective orthodontists. Don’t let any hesitancy on your part stop you from getting the smile you deserve.  Remember, you are responsible for the success of your treatment. For a full list of foods to avoid, contact your local orthodontist.

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