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Foods To Avoid When Wearing Braces

Woman with braces eating a strawberryIt’s important to remember that braces, while fixing your teeth and giving you a healthy smile, are full of delicate and breakable parts. In order to make sure your braces function correctly – and avoid unnecessary trips to the orthodontist in order to fix popped, bent, or broken parts – it’s helpful to avoid certain foods during your treatment. All of the foods below can cause damage to your braces so it’s best to either cut them out or learn to eat them in a braces-friendly fashion.

Fruits and Vegetables

I’m sure this wasn’t the first thing that you expected to see on the list. Of course, fruits and vegetables are important parts of a healthy diet and should absolutely be eaten on a daily basis. However, there are certain types of fruits and vegetables – in particularly the hard and crunchy variety – that can easily bend your wires and pop off your brackets. The best choice is to eat fruits that are soft (such as bananas or berries) and cook your vegetables until they are soft. If you choose to eat hard fruits (such as apples) or raw, crunchy vegetables (such as broccoli or cauliflower) make sure you cut them into bite size chunks you can chew in the back of your mouth.

Breads, Chips, and the Like

The hard and crunchy rule also applies to your breads, chips, and other similar snacks. While bread itself is usually soft enough for braces to handle, hard crusted breads (which includes things like bagels and pizza crusts) and crunchy items such as chips or taco shells can easily knock off your brackets and wires.

The Proteins: Meat, Nuts, and Seeds

The fibers in meat can be hard on your braces. If the meat is particularly stringy, it can get stuck in your braces and your teeth. And if you try to eat meat off the bone, you risk popping off one of your brackets. Always pick lean and tender meats removed from the bone and cut into bite sized pieces. Nuts and seeds are best avoided completely unless they are in nut butter form. Biting into small nuts is one of the main causes of bent wires and broken brackets and bands.

The Sugars: Candy, Soda, and Gum

This food category is especially dangerous for two reasons. Not only does the sticky or hard quality of gum and candy pose a danger to the different parts of your braces, but the sugar content in all three of these foods threaten the health of the teeth underneath. Teeth are extra susceptible to decay when they are being treated with braces, so it’s best to cut out any unnecessary sugar during your treatment.

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