One of the first things your orthodontist will give you when you have braces put on is a list of foods that you are not supposed to eat. There will be some foods that are frowned upon and some foods that are completely forbidden. The orthodontist makes these recommendations for a reason. The brackets and wires that are moving your teeth are not invincible. They can be damaged by food. In addition to avoiding foods that might cause damage to your teeth and braces, there are also foods that you will want to eat more often, to enhance the health of your teeth and gums as well as to ease the tension in your mouth as your devices move your teeth around.
Foods To Avoid
The list of foods to avoid will probably feel far too long, but they can easily be grouped into several major categories.
Sticky foods are the most important foods to avoid. This means that gum, caramels, anything gummi or fruit rollup related, taffy, etc. The reason you want to avoid sticky food is that it can easily catch onto your brackets and wires and pull them out of place. There is nothing quite as unfortunate as having a bracket be pulled from its bonding or a wire that gets pulled out of a bracket. Not only will it feel uncomfortable but it means an extra trip to the orthodontist.
Crunchy foods and excessively hard foods are also on the no-no list. Whole apples, hard candy, peanut brittle, ice cubes, corn chips, beef jerky, hard rolls or bagels, etc are all foods that should be avoided. This is because they tend to catch on the brackets and wires as you bite into them. Also, as your teeth are going to be on the loose side, crunchy food can cause excess strain on your teeth and might make them even looser.
Very sugary foods should be avoided whether or not you wear braces. If you do have braces, however, sugary foods should be avoided because small bits can get caught under your wires or under the edges of your brackets and cause your teeth to decay. Tooth decay is harder to fix if you wear braces.
Foods to Embrace
Your teeth love vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. The best place to get these vitamins and minerals is from dairy products, leafy greens (though you will want to take care that the greens don’t get stuck in your braces), citrus fruits, brown rice and lentils. Everybody knows that drinking milk makes your bones stronger. It also makes your teeth and gums stronger as well. Make sure to eat a healthy diet that is rich in these vitamins and minerals.
When you wear braces, you are putting your teeth at risk for the sake of, in the long run, making them better. Braces are for more than straightening teeth. They can also help adjust a person’s bite and correct problems with your jaw. While they are on your teeth, however, you are at greater risk for tooth decay and the weakening of your gums. Following your orthodontist’s instructions on the foods you should avoid as well as making sure to eat a healthy diet that is rich in vitamin C, calcium and magnesium are important aspects to keeping your mouth as healthy as possible while the braces are in place.