Foods You Shouldn’t Eat If You Have Braces

Foods You Shouldn’t Eat If You Have Braces

A dentist or orthodontist may recommend braces to align or straighten your teeth, or help with another dental problem like a gap, underbite, or overbite.

Braces can drastically improve your teeth, but it can take days or weeks to adjust to the extra pressure on your teeth. You may also feel some pain or irritation around your teeth and gums during the first few days.

But if you talk with anyone who’s had braces, the hardest adjustment might be giving up some of the foods you love. Certain foods are off-limits while wearing them, because they can become stuck in and damage them.

What can you eat when you first get braces?

Getting braces doesn’t hurt, but your mouth may be sensitive in the days following your appointment. Therefore, eating foods that have a tougher texture could cause pain.

Since you’ll also have to learn how to chew differently, your orthodontist will likely recommend only eating soft foods for the first few days.

Ideal foods to eat include:

  • mashed potatoes
  • yogurt
  • soups
  • scrambled eggs
  • oatmeal
  • grains
  • seafood
  • soft fruits
  • soft cheeses
  • cooked or soft vegetables
  • moist desserts
  • pasta

Basically, anything that’s easy to chew.

What to avoid eating

Along with knowing what foods you can eat after getting braces, you should know what foods to avoid right after It.

Plenty of foods are fine to eat. However, some “safe” foods might not be ideal immediately after getting braces, since they can irritate your mouth, causing too much pressure and sensitivity.

Foods to avoid include:

  • ice cream
  • thick rolls or breads
  • thicker cuts of meats
  • spicy foods
  • citrus foods

You’ll be able to eat these items once your teeth adjust to having braces.

Foods You Shouldn’t Eat If You Have Braces

What to keep avoiding while you have braces

Be mindful that braces are sensitive to damage, so you’ll need to avoid certain foods for as long as you have them.

These include sticky and hard foods that can damage the wires or bands, or cause a bracket to separate from a tooth.

Foods to completely avoid include:

  • popcorn
  • nuts
  • ice
  • chewing gum
  • hard candy
  • chewy candy
  • pizza crust
  • bagels and other hard rolls
  • crunchy vegetables and fruits
  • hard crackers
  • pretzels
  • chips

Also, limit consumption of sugary foods and drinks while having braces. When sugar mixes with saliva, it creates a sticky film (plaque) that coats the teeth.

Brushing can remove plaque, but that becomes harder to do with braces. And if you’re unable to remove this sticky film, there’s a risk of tooth decay.

So, while the occasional sweet treat is OK, limit yourself to only a few sugary foods and beverages a week.

What to do if wires or bands on your braces come loose

During the time you have braces, you’ll have periodic appointments with your orthodontist to adjust your braces. Other issues can occur between regular adjustments, like a loose or broken wire or band.

This can happen if you:

  • eat sticky or crunchy foods
  • pick at your braces
  • have an injury to your mouth

If you have any issues with your braces, make an appointment with your orthodontist right away. Ignoring the damage or delaying a repair could potentially slow your treatment time.

Don’t pull or bend a broken wire or bracket. You could cause more damage. Instead, place a piece of wet cotton or orthodontic wax over the sharp edge until you’re able to see a dentist or orthodontist.

Maintaining dental health

Maintaining good dental habits while wearing braces is one way to avoid damage. Make sure you brush your teeth at least three times a day, preferably after each meal, using a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Pay extra attention to the space around your braces and remove all traces of food. Use floss to clean between your teeth, as well as a floss threader, to remove food particles from between braces and wires.

It’s not only important to see your orthodontist, but also your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Dental cleanings are essential to remove any plaque buildup, which contributes to cavities and gum disease.

Your dentist may also recommend using a fluoride mouthwash to help strengthen your teeth and lower the risk of tooth decay.

Learning different chewing techniques can also prevent damage to braces. Instead of chewing food with your front teeth, it might be easier to chew with your back teeth, which are stronger.

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