Foods To Avoid
Braces are a common option for orthodontic treatment. However, braces do require special care and maintenance to ensure successful orthodontic treatment.
If you or your child have recently received braces at Art of Smile – Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics, there are a few things you should know. Besides implementing a good oral hygiene regimen, there are certain foods you should avoid to prevent damaging your appliances. After we place braces, we will provide a detailed list of dos and don’ts, including foods to avoid.
The three parts of traditional braces (brackets, wires, and elastic bands) can easily trap food debris and harmful bacteria. These components are also susceptible to damage with a significant amount of strain or pressure. For these reasons, we ask patients with braces to avoid sticky foods.
Sticky foods to avoid include:
- Gummy candies
- Bubble gum
- Caramels, taffies, and other chewy candies
- Processed food products like fruit roll-ups or dried fruit leathers
Besides the potential for damage, sticky foods can be extremely difficult to clean out of your appliances. These hard-to-clean areas near the brackets, elastics, and wire can serve as breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, resulting in tooth decay or gum disease. In other words, braces can put you at a greater risk for developing oral health problems when properly maintained. Sticky foods only increase this risk.
Hard foods can also increase your risk of damaging your braces. Minor problems, such as a loose bracket or broken wire, may occur during treatment. Avoiding hard foods can prevent potential problems, and in turn, prevent an increased treatment time.
Hard foods to avoid include:
- Hard fruit like apples (should be cut up)
- Raw vegetables like carrots (should be cut up)
- Chips and other crunchy snacks
- Certain breads, hard pizza crusts, and cookies
- Hard candies
We also encourage you to avoid bad habits, such as biting your fingernails, chewing on pen caps, and chomping on ice. Chewing ice is particularly bad because it seems harmless, but can do some serious damage.
Making dietary restrictions can also result in better oral and overall health. Some of these starchy and sugary foods can increase your risk of tooth decay. The bacteria in your mouth love to feed off these types of simple carbohydrates. As they feed, they produce acids that attack the enamel and eventually cause cavities to form.
Foods To Eat Carefully
We understand that certain foods can be tough to avoid. While we advise against it, if you do eat some of these foods, you should do so carefully. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, dense and chewy bread, and meat on the bone should be eaten with caution. Cutting these foods into smaller pieces can significantly reduce your risk of damaging your braces. Be sure to chew your food slowly as well.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you have any questions regarding food, be sure to reach out! Call (856) 216-8009 to schedule your appointment now!