Braces are a wonderful thing for those of us who have crooked teeth, an underbite, overbite, or even a gap. While braces greatly improve the way our teeth look, it’s not all for aesthetic purposes. Braces can also prevent you from grinding your teeth at night, from developing gingivitis, from being more prone to cavities or tooth decay, and it can even help cure speech impediments. But as is common in life, most good things come with a bit of compromise. In this case, braces can sometimes make it difficult to eat certain foods. Let’s take a closer look at what foods to avoid with braces.
Get in touch with our Glendora dentist today if you have more questions about living with braces.
When You First Get Braces
When you first get your braces put on, you may experience some pain around your teeth and gums. This soreness only usually lasts a few days, or up to a week in some cases. During this time, you’ll want to be extra cautious with what you choose to eat, both because it can irritate your mouth even further or potentially damage the braces altogether. This is why it’s important to stick to soft foods such as:
- Soft vegetables
- Mashed potatoes
- Blended vegetable juices
- Soft fruits and cheeses
Even certain soft foods are foods to avoid with braces. These foods include ice cream, thick bread, spicy food, citrus food, or larger cuts of meat. This is because these foods tend to be a little more sensitive to your teeth and when your mouth is already in some pain, it’s best to just avoid them altogether.
When the soreness has gone away after a week, you can start to eat some of these foods and even start to incorporate harder to chew foods.
Foods to Avoid With Braces
Even if you’ve had braces for months to years, there are still some foods you should try to avoid eating. The following foods are meant to be avoided because they tend to be hard or sticky and can cause damage to the wires or brackets in the mouth. The foods to avoid with braces include:
- Hard or chewy candy
- Almonds, cashews, or any nuts at all
- Pizza crust
- Bagels or hard rolls
- Hard fruits
- Excessive sugary foods or drinks such as soda
Sugary items will cause plaque to form more easily and quickly. This is because saliva mixed with sugar forms this film-like plaque. This is especially a problem with braces because the plaque forms behind the brackets and wires and it’s difficult to clean them. If the plaque sticks around too long, it will eventually cause a cavity.
While eating a sugary drink, piece of candy or food is okay every once in a while, try to keep it at a minimum until your braces are off.
How to Clean Your Teeth Properly with Braces
In order to stay clear from damaging your braces or your teeth in the process, be sure to brush your teeth two to three times a day with a soft-bristled brush. It’s always important to floss your teeth twice a day as well, but it’s especially important for those who have braces because it’s so much easier for food to get stuck in between the wires and brackets. To remove particles from these areas, you can use a floss threader to really get in those hard-to-reach spots. It’s so vital to keep up with your oral hygiene with braces because plaque can build up so easily. Before you know it, you end up with gingivitis and tooth decay.
It’s also important to keep up with regular cleanings with a professional dentist. At Glendora Family Dentistry, it’s our job to make your smile as bright, clean, and beautiful as possible. Visit our website or call us today at 626-427-6236 to set up an appointment.