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Foods to Avoid with Braces

Today, our Manitoba dentists share a list of foods you should avoid while wearing braces in order to prevent damage to both the braces and your teeth.

Despite the fact that braces have gotten more durable over time, it is still necessary to exercise caution in order to avoid damaging them. If you are getting orthodontic treatment, it is critical that you avoid certain foods that might increase your chance of developing cavities or staining on your teeth, or causing damage to your braces.

Sugary and starchy meals contribute to the formation of plaque acid, which can lead to tooth decay and the progression of gum disease. Sweets that are sticky and chewy, such as caramel, fudge, and toffee, can cause wire damage and loosen brackets as well.

What food should someone who is wearing braces avoid?

In general, people with braces should avoid all meals that are sticky, firm, or chewy since they might damage braces or reduce the effectiveness of their braces' impact. Foods to avoid when wearing braces include the following:

  • Popcorn
  • Nuts 
  • Sticky/hard candy 
  • Sticky/hard chocolate 
  • Gum 
  • Ice
  • Corn chips and pretzels 
  • Hard cookies or crackers

What food can someone who is wearing braces eat?

As long as you avoid or limit the foods above, you should be able to eat your normal diet while wearing braces. One thing to keep in mind is that when eating harder items like raw carrots, it is best to chop them into pieces that are small enough to fit fully in your mouth without having to bite pieces off with your front teeth.

Teeth straightening with braces can take some years, and any damage to the braces' wires or brackets can lengthen the time of your therapy. You also want to ensure that your teeth are in good condition when your braces come off. Make sure you eat things that are safe for you to eat while wearing braces, and that you take proper care of your dental health.

How can I keep my braces clean?

To begin, remove any elastics, bands, or removable orthodontic components from your mouth and secure them in a safe area. After that, fill a cup halfway with water and rinse your mouth with it. By swishing water around the inside of your mouth, you can dislodge food particles and other foreign objects.

Bear in mind the 45-degree rule when brushing your braces. Brush the bottom teeth slightly upward to provide access to the bracket groove, and the top teeth slightly downward to allow access to the bracket groove as well. The majority of the time, food will become trapped on the sides of your braces and in between your cheek and teeth. Develop the habit of brushing right after meals whenever possible. 

When wearing braces, flossing is still feasible. To get behind the wire, you should use dental floss with hard tips or flossing lassos. Ask your dentist or orthodontist what they recommend for flossing and have them show you the correct way to do it. Additionally, you may want a toothbrush with stiffer bristles to avoid getting your brushes stuck in, or damaged by, your brackets.

To learn more about orthodontic treatment with braces, contact our Manitoba dental team

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