While wearing braces it is important to properly care for them, and that means avoiding certain foods that could damage the braces or lead to an excess buildup of food particles and plaque in new areas that will be hard to clean. If you are uncertain as to which foods you should eat and which foods you should avoid, our dentist can help you.
Foods and Drinks that Are Harmful While Wearing Braces
Certain foods, especially hard foods and foods that contain a lot of sugar, are harmful to the braces and teeth and should be avoided for the duration of treatment. Other foods can be eaten if they are cut into small pieces or cooked thoroughly.
Hard candy and food can break or dislodge brackets, and the sugar content can increase the risk of developing excessive levels of plaque, leading to cavities and tooth decay. We recommend avoiding all hard candies while wearing braces.
It is extremely important to eat a balanced diet while wearing braces, but certain hard foods can damage the brackets or bend the wires. Foods like ice, nuts, popcorn, chips, cookies, crackers should be avoided until the braces are removed. Raw vegetables and fruits along with all meats and sandwiches should be cut into bite-sized pieces and chewed with the back teeth.
Anything Chewy and/or Sticky
Foods that are extremely chewy and/or sticky should be avoided in order to prevent a buildup of food particles in and around the brackets and wires. Common foods that should not be eaten include protein and granola bars, soft candies, like gummy bears, fruit candies, gum and caramel, and meat that is extremely tough or stringy.
Foods and Drinks High in Sugar and/or Acid
Candy bars, smoothies that contain a lot of sugar, energy drinks, sugary Koolaide or fruity drinks, sodas and citrus fruit should be avoided while wearing braces. The acid in citrus fruits and sodas can be extremely difficult to remove even with regular brushing, flossing and rinsing, and if the acid is left on the teeth for an extended period of time, it can erode the enamel, leading to cavities and tooth decay. Foods that drinks that are high in sugar can cause an explosion of plaque and bacteria in the mouth, leading to tartar buildup and damage to the teeth and gums.
Avoid Chewing on Objects
Along with certain foods, there are objects that should never be placed in the mouth or chewed while wearing braces. Individuals should avoid chewing on pens, pencils and erasers, and they should never pick or pull on the brackets in order to avoid dislodging them.
Foods You Should Eat While Wearing Braces
While there are many foods that should be avoided while wearing braces, certain foods are recommended, providing they are prepared in a brace-friendly manner and good oral hygiene is maintained. Hard vegetables can be steamed or boiled in order to make them brace-friendly. Bananas, eggs, properly cooked pasta and flour tortilla shells are also safe to eat.
Caring for Your Child’s Teeth and Braces with Help from Our Dentist in Ponte Vedra, FL
Our dentist in Ponte Vedra, FL can help give you and your child tips and tricks to keeping your child’s braces clean for the duration of the teeth straightening process. In general, your child should rinse his or her mouth with water prior to brushing in order to loosen any food particles that may be stuck in and around the braces. Special care should be taken when brushing the teeth so that all the food particles are removed from the gum line as well as from around and in the braces. Our dentist recommends starting with the gum line, then cleaning around each side of every bracket. Then, a mouthwash should be used to further remove any loose particles. Since flossing can be difficult with braces, our dentist can recommend the appropriate flossing device for your child.
To learn more about braces or to schedule an appointment or office tour, call us at 904-373-5120.