Are There Foods I Can’t Eat with Braces?
All You Need to Know
Braces and Invisalign are both wonderful tools in helping you to achieve the perfect smile. While you may be apprehensive about the treatment, you will find that it is tolerable, and the results are well worth everything you may have to temporarily give up. Your orthodontist can advise you about the best ways for your teeth to be straightened and your bite to be corrected for function as well as good looks. But, sometimes wearing an orthodontic appliance can seem like a bit of a hassle. You have to take good care of them so that they can do their job as quickly and as painlessly as possible. This includes limiting or avoiding the consumption of some of the foods you may enjoy. Remember, this avoidance is only short term while your straight teeth will last a lifetime.
What You Should Avoid
While no one wants to have to totally avoid certain foods, sometimes it is necessary. Following these guidelines will help you to achieve the look you are going for faster and with less pain. The types of foods that you should avoid include four main categories: hard foods, chewy foods, sticky foods, and foods you have to bit into.
Even without pain, these problems mean that your braces are not doing the job that they are supposed to do and therefore, you may need to wear them longer to make up for lost time. Hard foods you will need to avoid, include popcorn, nuts, hard taco shells or chips, pretzels, hard cookies, some raw vegetables, whole frets, bread’s with a hard outer crust, and pizza crusts.
The good news is that some of these foods can be altered so that they are acceptable. For example, raw vegetables can be steamed until softened. Similarly, hard cookies can be dipped in milk and softened. In addition, whole fruits such as apples can be eaten if they are first cut into thin slices or bite sized pieces. As for pizza, you can eat everything but the hard crust, so it’s not all bad.
Sticky foods can really stick to all dental work and can be difficult to clean off. Things like bubble gum, chewy candies, gummy candies, and fruit roll ups are generally not good choices. You will spend quite a bit of time pulling bits of these foods off of your dental appliances, and the amount of work it entails is generally just not worth the extreme effort. In addition, chewy foods can bend wires and even pull brackets loose.
Moreover, most sticky foods are full of sugar. While sugar is known to cause tooth decay without an orthodontic appliance, it is especially bad with them. Since these sticky bits can get stuck between brackets, wires, and teeth, the sugars have more time to make contact with the teeth, thus providing a greater chance of tooth decay. If you do eat sticky, sweet foods, make sure to clean teeth right after to minimize this issue. This goes for sugary beverages like soda and juices as well.
Foods that require an excessive amount of chewing are also not good options. Foods such as beef jerky and chewy bagels are known to loosen brackets and bend wires. Though the brackets are sturdy, they can only take so much force against them. As for the wires, with enough pressure on them, they are sure to give and bend, and then they are not doing the job they are supposed to do. Additionally, wires can break with enough force and this can because pain at times.
Foods You Have to Bite Into
The good news is that most foods you have to bite into can still be eaten if they are modified a bit. Foods such as sandwiches, pickles, whole fruits, chicken wings, or any meat on the bones should not be eaten as they usually are. However, if you cut your sandwich, pickle, or fruit into bite-sized pieces, you can still eat it. Chicken wings, ribs or other meat on the bones can be cut off of the bones, and the pieces can be eaten. Corn on the cob is one more example. You will have to use a knife to cut all of the kernels off of the cob before eating the fresh corn. It is a small price to pay for your new, straight smile.
What Foods Are Good Choices?
On the positive side is the fact that there are many foods you can still eat without any problems. Dairy foods such as pudding, yogurt, or soft cheeses are always a good choice, especially when you are having any pain in your mouth because they require very little chewing. Additionally, most types of regular bread are also on the list of foods to eat. These can include sandwich bread, soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins, and biscuits. Just make sure that the types of bread products you choose do not have a hard or crunchy outer crust.
There are many other soft foods to choose from as well. Most grains are soft, so items like noodles, rice, and pasta make nice meal options. Add in soft meats like chicken, hamburger, or meatballs for a complete entrée. Soups are also great, and they work especially well with sore mouths. Similarly, you can blend fruits and yogurts to make smoothies for those days when chewing just does not feel great.
In summary, following the directions of your orthodontist will help you to achieve the best possible results in the least amount of time. Your braces or Invisalign can do their job most efficiently when you remember to avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy foods. You will celebrate your straight teeth when the brackets and wires are all removed. Then, you can indulge in a few of your favorite foods, and it will be such a happy treat.
So, call Nease and Higginbotham Orthodontics today to schedule your consultation!
Are There Foods I Can’t Eat with Braces?