Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

Got a new set of braces? Congratulations on taking a big step towards your perfect smile! But with braces comes a new responsibility – being mindful of what you eat. Certain foods can damage your braces, undoing all the hard work you and your orthodontist are putting in. Let’s dive into the foods you should steer clear of to keep your braces in top shape, which were put together by Montana Smiles Orthodontics.

What Should You Do If a Wire or Bracket Comes Loose While Eating?

First things first, don’t panic! It’s not uncommon for a wire or bracket to come loose, especially if you’ve accidentally bitten into something hard or sticky. If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what to do:

  • If the wire is poking you, use orthodontic wax to cover the end until you can see your orthodontist. You can find this wax at most pharmacies.
  • If a bracket has come loose, save it. Dr. Hecht will sterilize and reattach it.
  • Call Montana Smiles Orthodontics to schedule a repair appointment. In the meantime, be extra gentle with your braces and avoid the area when brushing.

Remember, while a loose wire or bracket can be uncomfortable, it’s not an emergency. Bring your bracket and get it fixed at your next appointment.

Hard Foods to Avoid with Braces

Hard foods are the number one culprit when it comes to damaged braces. When you bite down on something hard, it can snap a wire or dislodge a bracket. Some common hard foods to avoid include:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Hard candy
  • Raw carrots
  • Corn on the cob

If you can’t resist that ear of corn, cut the kernels off the cob before enjoying. As for carrots and other hard vegetables, steam or cook them until they’re soft enough to chew comfortably.

Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

Avoid “Sticky Situations” With Chewy Foods

Sticky and chewy foods are another common cause of broken braces. They can get stuck in your brackets and wires, and the act of chewing them can pull your hardware loose. Steer clear of:

  • Gum
  • Caramel
  • Gummy bears and other gummy candies
  • Taffy
  • Stringy meats like beef jerky

If you’re craving something chewy, opt for softer alternatives like yogurt, pudding, or smoothies.

Be Cautious With Crunchy Snacks

Crunchy snacks like chips, pretzels, and crackers aren’t off-limits, but they do require some extra care. Always break or cut them into small pieces before eating to reduce the risk of damaging your braces. The same goes for crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and raw carrots – cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

Sugary Drinks and Tooth Decay

While sugary drinks like soda and sports drinks won’t necessarily damage your braces, they can lead to tooth decay. The sugar in these drinks interacts with the bacteria in your mouth, creating acid that erodes your tooth enamel. This risk is heightened when you have braces, as the brackets and wires create smaller areas for bacteria to hide.

If you indulge in a sweet drink, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth and rinse your mouth with water afterward. Even better, opt for water or sugar-free beverages most of the time.

Healthy Braces-Friendly Snacks

So, what can you eat with braces? Plenty! Focus on soft, nutritious foods that are easy to chew. Some great options that Dr. Hecht recommends include:

  • Yogurt
  • Soft fruits like bananas and berries
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Smoothies
  • Soft cheeses
  • Pudding
  • Soups
  • Soft-cooked meats
  • Pasta

With a little creativity, you can enjoy a varied, delicious diet while keeping your braces safe.

Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

You’re Not Alone On Your Journey

Remember, taking care of your braces is a team effort between you and Dr. Hecht. If you have any questions about what foods are safe to eat, don’t hesitate to ask. We’re here to guide you every step of the way on your journey to a perfect smile. Give us a call today if you have any questions at all.