Eating with braces doesn’t mean you’re stuck eating pureed or soft food. In fact, there are less restrictions than you might think. Learning what you should and shouldn’t eat with your braces will assure you receive optimum results from your orthodontic treatment. Preventing damage to the brackets, arch wires, and bands from refraining from eating the wrong food is your job, while the braces do the work improving your smile.
To remove the guesswork, here are some of the foods you should avoid and others that you have the green light to eat.
Foods to Avoid with Braces
As an overall precaution, hard foods, sticky foods, and foods high in sugar are best to avoid eating with braces — all of which can damage your braces by loosing the bands, bending the wires or breaking the brackets. For example, hard fruits like apples or unripe pears may prove challenging to bite into. The same goes for hard, raw vegetables, such as carrots and cauliflower. Hard or crusty breads, like bagels may be problematic to chew. Nuts and seeds are both hard and tiny, making them an enemy to braces. Stringy or tough meats should also be avoided.
Candy — especially gummy, sticky, or hard candy — should be eliminated from your diet, which not only can be detrimental to your braces, but the excessive sugar can harm your tooth enamel. Hard pizza crust, corn-on-the-cob, peanut brittle, bubble gum, caramel, and taffy are a few other examples of foods to steer clear of. Lastly, ice cubes should never be eaten while wearing braces because they can damage your orthodontic appliances.
Foods to Choose with Braces
When eating fruits, try choosing softer fruits, like bananas, blueberries, and raspberries. Hard fruits are okay if you cut them into very small pieces. Vegetables can be enjoyed with braces, but hard vegetables shouldn’t be eaten raw. Instead, steam, boil, bake, or even grill hard vegetables to soften them up. Instead of eating nuts like peanuts and almonds, eat peanut butter or almond butter as an alternative. Nuts can also be enjoyed when grounded course ground on yogurt. In terms of meats, choose lean cuts of meat, such as chicken, fish, or lean pork, rather than chewy and fibrous, less tender cuts of meat. Tofu is a great protein option for braces wearers.
Tips for Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
Proper brushing and flossing while wearing braces will help to remove any food that may have become stuck in your braces. You should brush your teeth after every meal or snack by using a nice and gentle motion using a soft toothbrush. On each tooth with braces, brush both down from the top and up from the bottom. A proxabrush, also called a “Christmas tree” brush is helpful in cleaning between your braces. Use a proxabrush between to brush by inserting the brush down from the top and then up from the bottom. Lastly, since flossing can be more challenging with braces, use a floss threader and waxed or mylar floss to make this important job easier.