Orthodontic treatment, specifically braces, is an important step toward achieving optimal dental health. Having straight teeth is more important than just possessing an attractive appearance. In fact, when your teeth are properly aligned, they are easier to keep clean and maintain a healthy occlusion (bite). When receiving braces, many of our patients inquire about foods that should be avoided. While some types of food can certainly damage orthodontic appliances, our orthodontist strongly encourages our patients to eat foods carefully, in small bites, too.
Foods that Can Damage Braces
When eating certain types of food, patients should be aware that some food could break and bend metal wires and even snap off brackets. This normally occurs with tough and chewy foods such as steak, jerky, or soft candies. Crisp foods like apples and carrots may damage braces as well.
Another factor when choosing the right foods to eat during treatment is whether that meal or snack will present problems with oral hygiene. Starches like pasta and bread can easily become lodged underneath orthodontic equipment. If this occurs, patients should gently remove all visible debris after eating with their toothbrush or special inter-dental cleaners that our team recommends. To help prevent decay, our orthodontist may recommend oral irrigators, which spray a gentle stream of water onto teeth and underneath braces along with small spiral brushes that clean behind metal wires.
Tips for Easy Chewing
While avoiding certain foods is advisable, altering the way you eat certain foods can help preserve your braces. For example, instead of biting into very crisp foods like whole apples and carrots, we recommend cutting these foods into small, square pieces. Chewy or tough foods like steak should be sliced into small, bite-sized pieces as well. We encourage our patients to take their time when eating and drink water throughout their meals to help wash away leftover food particles.
To learn more about caring for your braces or to schedule a consultation with our orthodontist, contact our friendly team at Bunn Orthodontic Group today to book your appointment.