Maintaining great oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment is crucial to preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. Great oral hygiene means brushing and flossing regularly, as you might expect, but another significant part includes avoiding certain foods that can damage or loosen braces.
Austin Orthodontic Arts is proud to put our customers first, and one aspect of that includes working to empower you with educational articles like this. Today, we’ll discuss the answer to the question – What foods can I eat with braces?
We’ll go over what foods to avoid with braces and foods that are safe to eat. We’ll also provide tips on how to eat with braces to prevent damage and promote oral hygiene. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your orthodontic treatment is successful and your smile is healthy and beautiful.
Why Should I Restrict My Diet?
That’s a great question! Nobody wants to skip out on their favorite meal preferences and sneaky snacks, but there are some great reasons to make an effort! Let’s look at a few of the benefits of doing the work to modify your diet with braces.
Fewer Maintenance Visits
When you’ve successfully developed a diet that works well with orthodontic treatment, that means there’s less of a chance that you’ll have to make “emergency” appointments to fix brackets or wires that improper food selections may have damaged.
Dr. Hime, Dr. Salome, and Dr. Naj love seeing our amazing patients at the office, but we know you’d rather keep your time in the chair to a minimum! By following a few easy dietary restrictions, you’ll avoid unnecessary maintenance visits!
Faster Treatment Times
When you’ve developed and followed a consistent food plan for your orthodontic treatment, you’ll find that not only do you get to skip out on those nasty broken wires or brackets, but even your overall treatment times will speed up!
But why is that? Well, every time a wire is bent, or a bracket loosens due to less-than-ideal mixups with one of the food items we’re about to cover, the overall effectiveness of the appliance suffers. That means once your dietary plan is rock solid, you’ve basically supercharged your treatment times! Now let’s get an idea of the types of food we’ll want to steer clear of in the next section.
Foods To Avoid
When you have braces, certain foods can be more difficult to eat or may even damage your braces. That leads to the sorts of issues around needing a maintenance appointment and extending our treatment times. On that note, here are some types of foods we want to avoid:
- Hard and sticky foods: These sorts of foods can damage or dislodge brackets, wires, or bands. Examples include hard candy, nuts, popcorn, and ice.
- Sugary and acidic foods and drinks: Overly sugary food and drink can contribute to tooth decay and erosion, which can be more problematic when you have braces. Examples include soda, sports drinks, candy, and citrus fruits.
- Tough meats and crusty bread: These types of foods can be difficult to chew and may get stuck in your braces. They can also damage or dislodge your brackets or wires.
It’s important to take good care of your braces, folks. Avoiding certain types of foods is key to preventing any damage to your brackets and wires. Foods like hard candy, nuts, popcorn, chewing gum, and ice can be quite a challenge to eat when you have braces, so it’s best to steer clear of them.
And let’s not forget about sugary or acidic foods and drinks. They can contribute to tooth decay and erosion, which is especially problematic when you have braces. So, it’s best to avoid soda, sports drinks, candy, and citrus fruits.
Of course, the types of problems that you can run into from hard and sticky foods can show up in other ways. Bad habits like chewing on pens or biting your nails can also damage your braces. So, it’s best to avoid those habits too.
By staying away from these types of foods and habits, you’ll be helping your braces stay in good condition and your orthodontic treatment stay on track.
Foods To Celebrate!
Now that we’ve talked about the bad, let’s take a little time to learn about and celebrate all the awesome things we can eat with braces! Luckily, there are a bunch on that list! Soft foods are absolutely fantastic when it comes to orthodontic care, since the softer a food item is, the less chance that you’ll show up with a broken wire or loose bracket from indulging!
So, what kinds of foods are we talking about? Well, here are a few of our favorites when it comes to ensuring that our diet works with our braces. Foods like:
- Sugarless chewing gum
- Soft cheese
- Soft vegetables
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
- Soft pretzels
In our experience, these are some tremendous alternatives to harder, stickier, and more acidic options that could damage your braces and lengthen treatment times.
Want to Know More? Give Us a Call Today!
Now that you’ve taken the time to read up on some of the food choices that do and don’t work with treatment, it’s time to get started on your brand-new smile! At Austin Orthodontic Arts, we’re proud to offer 100% free-of-charge consultation services, so you can get a solid picture of where you’re at, where you want to be, and how to achieve your goals.
We’re a practice with roots in Texas that’ve been making Austin smile for decades, and we’re excited to show you what we can do! Call today, or fill out our online form to get started!