The Dos and Don’ts of Eating Food with Braces
Braces are beneficial if you want straight teeth or if you have dental issues that impact the way you talk or eat. However, there are some foods that you want to avoid and a few ways that you want to ensure that you care for your teeth so that the brackets aren’t damaged. If you think that a bracket is broken, then you should visit your orthodontist as soon as possible.
Avoid chewy foods at all costs. These can get stuck around your brackets and can be difficult to remove. They can also result in broken brackets if you begin pulling at the food to try to get it unwrapped. Items in this category include taffy, gum, and caramel.
There are some hard foods that you want to avoid if you have braces. When eating hard foods, your teeth have to work a little more. This could result in the brackets on your teeth breaking off. If one does break, then it could impact the wire running through it and the surrounding brackets. These foods include popcorn, chips, and hard candies. You can also include apples and corn on the cob in this category. These are foods that you have to bite into, and with brackets on your front teeth, it could result in them snapping off. Items that you can exchange for these include steamed vegetables, applesauce, or pudding.
Brushing and Flossing
After eating, you want to brush and floss your teeth so that any food left behind around the brackets and under the wires is removed. If left on your teeth, then you might notice stains around the brackets, especially when your braces are removed. Special flossers are available that can help you remove food that’s stuck under the wires as it’s sometimes difficult to get floss between your brackets and under the wires. If possible, brush after every meal instead of twice a day like you’re accustomed to brushing.
After wearing braces for some time, you might need to wear elastic bands around a few of the brackets. These can help move your teeth even more, giving you the smile that you desire. Your orthodontist might have instructions for how to care for your brackets after getting your braces on or how to care for a retainer after they are removed. It’s important to follow all of the instructions that you’re given so that you don’t prolong the course of your orthodontic treatment.
You’re likely going to have orthodontic appointments once a month. While at the appointments, you might have the bands around your brackets changed or have the wires tightened. Your orthodontist will examine your teeth to ensure that they are moving properly and to ensure that there are no damaged brackets or damaged areas on the wires. It’s normal to feel some discomfort after an appointment, especially if the wires are tightened. You can usually take a pain reliever when you get home to help get you through the rest of the day.
If you’re involved in any sports, you need to let your orthodontist know. A mouth guard can be used to protect your braces and the rest of your mouth while you’re playing. If you happen to get hit in the mouth, then the brackets could cut into your cheeks or gums. They could also break off.
Try not to drink a lot of beverages that have large amounts of sugar in them. The sugar can settle around the brackets and be difficult to remove. Other beverages that have a lot of sugar in them that you want to avoid include fruit juices and tea.