You have made the decision to have orthodontic treatment with braces for yourself or for you child. Congratulation, you are on the road to achieving a beautiful smile with nice straight teeth. During your time in braces there are some sacrifices in your diet that you will need to make. One of the most common questions our patients ask is what they are not allowed to eat while their braces are on. It is important that you follow the instructions your orthodontist gives you so that you can avoid emergency visits or delays in your treatment time.
We understand that you might be temporarily missing out on some of your favorite foods, but it is important that you follow the rules so that you can finish your braces treatment as soon as possible and begin to show off your new beautiful smile.
The basic rule of thumb is to avoid eating foods that are very hard or sticky. Eating hard and/or sticky foods can cause you to break the braces off of your teeth and prolong your time in treatment.
We will breakdown the do’s and don’ts of eating with braces.
Ask Your Orthodontist What You Can and Can’t Eat With Braces
When you have your first consultation with us, you will be given a treatment plan that is designed for you and only you. Once Dr. Wise has explained what treatment you will need, there will be some time for you to ask her any questions you might have. This is the perfect opportunity for you to ask what types of foods you can and can’t eat during your time in braces. This will not only help you to understand the foods that you can enjoy, but it can also help you to understand why there are certain food restrictions.
In general, the rules for metal braces, ceramic braces and Invisalign may differ slightly. There are some foods that are restricted for braces but are okay to eat with Invisalign. On the other hand, some foods may break ceramic braces more easily and traditional metal braces.
The No No List of Food
It is important to know which foods are generally off-limits while your braces are on. Very sticky foods such as gum, hard candies, starbursts, laffy taffy, caramels and gummy bears, foods can get caught and get stuck on your braces. The amount of sugar in certain foods (mainly candy) can also damage your teeth if you are not doing a good job of cleaning your teeth. Therefore, it is very important that you brush over, under and around all the braces to remove any sugar or acids that may be left on the teeth after eating.
Hard foods such as thick toasted bagels, croutons, popcorn kernels, thick chips, raw vegetables, meet on a bone (chicken wings or ribs) and pizza crust should be avoided during your braces treatment. Biting into these hard foods can cause the braces to break off of the teeth. This requires extra emergency visits to the orthodontist to replace the broken braces and can prolong your treatment time.
Large foods like apples, raw carrots, corn on the cob and pieces of steak need to be cut up into small pieces. If you bite into an apple, for example, it is likely that your braces will be in your apple instead of on your teeth. If you are a vegetable lover, we recommended that you eat your veggies cooked instead of raw.
Any meet on a bone such as chicken wings or ribs should be removed from the bone. If you bite into a chicken wing or rib and hit the bone with your braces, there is a high chance that a brace or a few braces may break off of your teeth.
The Safe Zone
Softer foods such as spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, shredded meet or chicken, baked or mashed potatoes, eggs, pancakes, grits, oatmeal, yogurt, cheese, thin sandwiches on soft bread, soups and cooked vegetables are usually safe to have during braces treatment. It is important that you brush your teeth after every meal or snack so that food particles, sugars and acids from foods do not stay stuck on your teeth around the braces for prolonged periods of time. Good oral hygiene habits are important in order for you to avoid permanent damage to your teeth and gums.