When it comes to getting used to your new braces, there’s a bit of an adjustment period as you become accustomed to having them in your life. Aside from adjusting to cleaning between braces and adapting to the discomfort of new braces, there are some dietary changes to make. Although modern technology has made braces tougher, it’s still better to stick to soft foods for the duration of your treatment to avoid damaging them. Here’s a list of foods to avoid that can help you take better care of your braces and speed up your path to a brighter smile.
Hard, crunchy foods like nuts and chips are generally no-no foods for braces-wearers, but popcorn in particular is a food you’ll generally want to avoid while undergoing treatment. Popcorn kernels are small, which can make it easier for them to get stuck between wires or under brackets. Limit your intake of hard foods during treatment to minimize any damage and avoid complicating treatment.
2. Raw vegetables
Raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and corn on the cob are hard foods that require plenty of chewing, which can be difficult with braces on. The discomfort from adjusting to braces can make it hard to chew as hard enough to eat the vegetables. The vegetables themselves can also hit the brackets and wires, loosening them and requiring a visit to the dentist to readjust them. The same can happen when eating nuts, so refrain from eating hard food until treatment finishes.
3. Hard candy
Your dentist will tell you to avoid sugar in general, but it’s doubly crucial you watch your sugar intake while you’re wearing braces. It’s always vital you brush after eating sugary snacks, particularly around and between your braces, to minimize the risk of cavities. Hard candy is especially risky because many patients get tempted to chew their candy. Chewing the candy runs the risk of damaging the wires and brackets, in addition to being hard on your teeth in general.
4. Chewing gum
Sticky foods like chewing gum and caramel are yet more foods that generally don’t mix well with braces. Sticky foods are liable to get trapped in the brackets and wires, making cleaning a “sticky” prospect. Gum and caramel are the most problematic culprits, but to be safe, stay away from other sticky foods like peanut butter and maple syrup.
Before you think having braces isn’t going to be a fun time, it is possible to eat some of the foods on this list, at least in moderation. Braces or no, a well-balanced diet is still key to your health, and it’s vital you get enough healthy food in your diet. What you can do is adjust how you eat these foods to compensate for the changes (e.g. cutting vegetables into bite-sized bits). While you’re at it, eat it more foods more favourable to braces including:
- Dairy products
- Lean meat
- Smooth nut spreads
- Fruit shakes
These foods are great for maintaining your health, and are soft enough to avoid putting strain on your braces. Take care with what you eat to help yourself stay healthy on every level as you get closer to that bright smile you’re waiting for.