Orthodontic treatment with braces is a common way to straighten teeth and achieve a beautiful smile.
While braces help align teeth, they require special care, including dietary adjustments.
The food you consume during orthodontic treatment can impact your oral health.
This article will explore the foods you should avoid that could hinder treatment success.
Importance of diet during orthodontic treatment
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is crucial for overall well-being, and it becomes even more critical when you have braces.
The foods you choose to eat can have a significant impact on your oral health and the condition of your braces.
A well-planned diet during orthodontic treatment can help prevent damage to the braces and minimize the risk of oral health issues such as cavities or gum disease.
Foods to avoid with braces
During orthodontic treatment, certain foods can pose a risk to your braces.
It’s best to avoid the following types of foods:
Hard and sticky foods
Hard and sticky foods can damage the braces and cause them to become loose or break.
Avoid foods such as:
- Hard candies and lollipops
- Nuts and popcorn
- Ice cubes and ice cream cones
- Chewing gum and caramel
Crunchy and chewy foods
Crunchy and chewy foods can get stuck in the brackets and wires, making it difficult to clean your teeth properly.
Stay away from foods like
- Hard pretzels and chips
- Bagels and crusty bread
- Raw carrots and apples
- Tough meats and jerky
Sugary and acidic foods
Foods high in sugar and acidity can increase the risk of tooth decay and enamel erosion.
Limit your consumption of:
- Soda and sugary drinks
- Candy and sweets
- Citrus fruits and juices
Foods that are safe to eat with braces
Fortunately, there are still plenty of delicious and nutritious foods you can enjoy while wearing braces.
Focus on incorporating the following into your diet:
Soft fruits and vegetables
Soft fruits and vegetables are gentle on braces and provide essential vitamins and minerals.
- Bananas and berries
- Avocados and melons
- Cooked vegetables and vegetable soups
Cooked grains and pasta
- Rice and quinoa
- Soft-cooked pasta
- Oatmeal and porridge
Protein is essential for maintaining a healthy diet, even with braces.
Choose lean and tender options that are easy to chew, such as:
- Soft-cooked chicken or turkey
- Fish without bones
- Tofu and legumes
Dairy products are a good source of calcium and provide a soft and creamy texture, making them suitable for those with braces.
- Yogurt and smoothies
- Soft cheeses like mozzarella or cottage cheese
- Milk and dairy alternatives
Snacking can still be enjoyable while wearing braces.
Opt for braces-friendly snacks like
- Soft crackers or breadsticks
- Nut butter (without added nuts)
- Smoothies and fruit purees
- Soft granola bars
Tips for eating with braces
Eating with braces requires some adjustments and extra care to avoid any damage or discomfort.
Consider the following tips:
Cut food into small pieces: To make chewing more manageable and prevent damage to your braces, cut your food into smaller, bite-sized portions.
Chew carefully and slowly: Take your time to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. This helps prevent any unnecessary strain on your braces.
Avoid biting into hard foods: Instead of biting directly into hard foods, such as apples or carrots, cut them into small, manageable pieces to avoid damaging your braces.
Brush and floss regularly: Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment. Brush your teeth after each meal and floss carefully to remove any food particles that may get trapped in your braces.
Proper nutrition is essential for overall health and becomes even more important during orthodontic treatment with braces.
While there are certain foods to avoid, there are still plenty of delicious options.
Remember to follow the guidelines provided by your orthodontist and maintain good oral hygiene practices.
Don’t let braces hold you back from enjoying your favorite foods. Call us today to find out more.
Mark Bilello Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is located in Houma, LA, and welcomes patients from all the neighboring areas.