Congratulations on making the decision to get braces. You have taken the first step to a beautiful, straight smile that is sure to boost your confidence. But, rest assured, you are not the only one who has questioned what you can eat - or, rather, what you can’t eat - when you have braces.
Let’s talk about the temporary dietary changes you will need to make when you choose this orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Traditional Braces
Care needs to be taken when it comes to eating with traditional braces. You want to avoid causing damage to the wires, bands, and brackets - and that means avoiding certain foods for different reasons. For instance, hard or crunchy foods may break the braces while sticky foods can pull and bend them or get lodged into places they can’t get out of.
Foods you should avoid with your braces are:
- Hard candy
- Corn on the cob
- Apples (unless cut up)
- Beet jerky
- Crunchy veggies
- Sticky, chewy candy
- Hard crusted bread or pizza crust
So, what can you eat? If you’ve got traditional braces, feel free to indulge in the following:
- Soft fruit
- Cooked veggies
- Nut butter (the smooth variety)
- Soft bread
- Lean meats
- Ice cream
Anything that isn’t hard, chewy, tough, or sticky that could potentially cause damage to your braces is fair game. You can always ask your orthodontist if you aren’t sure about certain types of food.
Tips for Eating with Traditional Braces
Even if you stick to the foods on your list, it is a good idea to take a few extra precautions to ensure that you protect your teeth and your braces while indulging in something delicious.
- Cut your food into bite-size pieces, rather than biting and chewing big bites. This allows for less force when eating, putting less pressure on your braces.
- Chew slowly. Not only are you trying to protect your braces, but you need to consider all the changes going on in your mouth. Your bite is different and not taking care when you eat can leave you biting your cheek, your lips, and so forth.
- If you do take a bite of something rather than cutting, try using the side of your mouth for that bite, rather than biting with your front teeth.
Eating with Invisalign
When it comes to Invisalign, you are not as limited in your food choices. The reason for this is that you should be removing your aligners when you eat. You don’t have to worry about food getting stuck in brackets or wires - or even worry about breaking these intricate pieces. Instead, you can remove the aligners and eat as you normally would.
Before re-inserting your Invisalign aligners, however, you will want to brush your teeth or, at the very least, rinse your mouth well to remove any food particles.
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene Habits
No matter how much care you take when eating with braces, you may still have issues when it comes to food particles getting lodged in crevices around your teeth and your braces. Things have more places to hide in your mouth when you have braces and, if not addressed, it can lead to decay.
It is vital that you maintain good oral hygiene habits so that your teeth remain as healthy as possible. So be sure to brush and floss regularly, use a mouthwash, and make sure you visit your dentist regularly.
Learn More About Life in Braces at Hass Family Orthodontics
Instead of focusing on the foods you cannot eat with braces, focus on those you can. Remind yourself that this change is only temporary -- and you are going to have one magnificent smile when your treatment is over.