Braces are a great way to get the smile you’ve always wanted, but they also require special care. Eating the wrong foods can damage your teeth and braces and set back your progress, so you need to know what not to eat with braces.
That’s why we’ve created this guide on the food you can’t eat with braces to help you stay on course for a beautiful smile!
Let’s start with why there are food restrictions for people with braces.
Why Are There Food Restrictions?
Braces are used to help straighten teeth and improve one’s smile. But for the treatment to work, you must follow your orthodontist’s directions on things you can and can’t eat with braces. This can often be frustrating for people who are used to eating whatever they want, but there’s a good reason why you must follow these restrictions.
Certain types of food can cause damage to the brackets, wires, and bands that keep your braces in place. Aside from damaging your braces, not following the food restrictions can:
- Increase treatment costs
- Prolong treatment times
- Cause physical discomfort
- Impact the final result negatively
What Not To Eat With Braces List
When wearing braces, orthodontists strongly recommend avoiding certain foods to prevent damage to the brackets and wires. These include sticky foods, hard foods, foods with small particles, chewy foods, and sugary foods and drinks. Depending on the treatment type or appliance, further restrictions may apply.
What can’t you eat when you have braces?
At the top of the what not to eat with braces list is any type of food that’s sticky. Sticky foods can easily get lodged in the brackets or wires, causing breakage or premature wear and tear. Examples of sticky foods to avoid include:
- Candy bars
Other types of food you can’t eat with braces are those requiring excessive biting or crunching. These hard foods can cause brackets or wires to become dislodged.
- Hard candy
Avoid biting directly into apples and eating corn right off of the cob, but cutting them into small pieces is fine. Try also to avoid biting into frozen items such as fruits and ice cubes.
Food With Small Particles
Avoiding foods containing small particles, such as popcorn, is also recommended. Any food with tiny, tough pieces can get stuck in the braces, creating extra cleaning time. It might seem like a small task to remove unwanted food particles, but your oral health may suffer if not done regularly.
You should also avoid chewy foods that can stretch the elastic bands on your braces or pull them out of alignment. Examples include:
- Chewy candy
- Pizza crust
Although these foods might be soft, they can easily attach to brackets and wires and cause them to separate from the tooth.
Sugary Foods And Drinks
High sugar content increases the bacteria in your mouth, creating more plaque build-up. In some cases, sugary or acidic foods can cause enamel erosion, weakening the hard protective layer covering your teeth. Examples of foods and drinks to limit include:
- Sports drinks
- Ice cream
High sugar intake can also cause discoloration of the tooth around the bracket. You don’t want to get your braces off only to have circles on your teeth where your braces were once attached!
Always work with your orthodontist to learn about what foods to avoid with braces.
What Can You Eat With Braces?
Now that you know what not to eat with braces, you may ask yourself, “What can I eat?” The good news is you don’t have to give up all of your favorite snacks. You should still be able to enjoy most healthy and natural foods.
The key is to find foods that are soft and not too sticky. Some of the best food choices for braces include:
- Soft cheeses
- Cooked grains
- Pasta and casseroles
- Scrambled eggs
But that’s certainly not an exhaustive list. You can still enjoy some of your favorite treats, like ice cream, in moderation while working towards achieving a beautiful and healthy smile.
Learn More About Braces At Bates Orthodontics
Knowing what not to eat with braces can help your treatment go smoothly. With careful oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular checkups with your orthodontist, you can make sure your braces stay in great condition.
At Bates Orthodontics, we help patients get the smile of their dreams. We provide braces for all ages, and our experienced team will be happy to discuss your orthodontic options. With our friendly staff and state-of-the-art equipment, you can trust that your smile is in good hands.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn all about how Bates Orthodontics can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted.