What Foods are Off-Limits After Getting Braces?

When you get started with braces in Port Orange, you’re on the way to straight teeth for life!

No matter if you’re a kid or an adult, braces work. They fix gaps in teeth, making your teeth and mouth healthier. When teeth are in the right alignment and position, bite force is distributed evenly. That helps you avoid having teeth chip, crack, or wear down before their time!

Straight teeth are easier to keep clean, too. When teeth are crowded, they can create areas that are very hard to reach. That often results in dental plaque building up. With braces, you will have no problem brushing all the many parts of your teeth. That leads to fewer cavities.

Of course, there are some adjustments you have to make, too.

Some people are done with braces within just a few months, while others take a year or more to see the results they want. Every patient is different, just like every smile is different. At Beauchamp Orthodontics, we are there for you throughout the whole treatment process. That includes during this important adjustment period!

In the first few days after getting braces, some people experience a little sensitivity. Others say that their teeth just feel “strange.” This is like the feeling when you get a brand new filling and your tooth is shaped a little bit differently. You know it’s for the best, and pretty soon you will be totally used to it.

If you experience redness, swelling, or discomfort, you should contact us.

Most patients have no problems with their braces at all and adjust very quickly.

But there is one thing that you have to watch out for: Your diet.

You might be thinking, “Diet, ugh!” But in this case, you don’t have to watch everything you eat or change your nutrition. Instead, it’s important to cut out a small selection of foods that can cause problems for your braces. As long as you avoid a few specific things, you can eat anything else you want.

What to Watch Out for When You’re Eating After Getting Braces

If you have metal braces, there are some kinds of food that could cause damage. You should avoid these foods entirely. Other foods are a little bit risky, but you can continue to eat them as long as you change the way you prepare them. Get used to taking a few easy precautions and your braces will be safe and sound.

Here are the things you should definitely avoid:

1. Chewing Gum

No matter what kind of gum you’re thinking of, it’s better to go without it while you have braces. The problem here isn’t the sugar, which can contribute to dental decay. Instead, it’s the fact that chewing gum can become stuck on the metal wires of your braces. That can be a real hassle!

In very rare cases, gum can become so stuck that it is difficult to remove it safely. That has led to cases where one of the wires in a set of braces becomes bent and needs to be fixed, potentially scratching your gums. It is much better to avoid this situation entirely and skip the chewing gum.

2. Sticky Foods

There are several different kinds of sticky food that could cause trouble with braces. You won’t encounter these too often in daily life, but you might need to watch out around Halloween! Kids with braces may need extra help picking out the candy they can enjoy without it getting stuck to their braces.

Some potential problem foods include caramel, licorice, and toffee. Popular candies that should be avoided are things like Starburst, Gummy Bears, Tootsie Rolls, and Sugar Daddies. For a sweet treat, look for firm, solid candy that’s still easy to chew, such as Reese’s Pieces or Peanut Butter Cups and most cookies.

Don’t forget to brush soon after any sweet food, since sugar can fuel dental plaque!

3. Very Hard Foods

Any food that takes a lot of bite force to eat should be avoided. That includes nuts and hard candies that you have to bite into to enjoy. Some hard candies may be okay if they dissolve in your mouth and don’t need to be bitten into. Beef jerky should be avoided. Don’t eat anything that you have to pull apart with your teeth!

Most chain pizza restaurants have doughy, rubbery pizza crusts that need to be chewed a lot and bitten apart. These are off-limits while you have braces. If you cook a frozen pizza at home, avoid the crust unless it is very thin and crunchy. If you are in doubt about any food, it is always best to skip it.

Pretzels, popcorn, and nuts are also off the menu. While it might be safe to chew these foods, they break down into small, hard particles that can easily become stuck between the parts of your braces. A tiny bit of these foods that doesn’t get brushed away can lead to a new cavity down the line.

Carrots and other tough veggies should be cooked, not eaten raw.

Last but not least, avoid chewing on ice! Even though ice crunches apart when you bite it, you are still exerting a lot of force to chew it. Even in the best of times, biting down hard puts you at risk of cracking or chipping a tooth. When you have braces, there is an even bigger risk associated with bending part of your braces.

Worried About Eating Restrictions After Braces? Consider Clear Aligners

While more traditional braces are used for the most severe orthodontic problems and are appropriate for almost every patient. If you have all or almost all of your permanent teeth, you might be able to use clear aligners to meet your needs. Aligners are better for some patients because they can be removed for a brief period of time whenever you wish.

Since you can take them out, you can eat most foods as long as you brush your teeth and put your aligners back in afterward. Just be sure you are using them for the required period of time per day. Your team at Beauchamp Orthodontics can let you know about your options.

Beauchamp Orthodontics Is Here to Help You Every Step of the Way

There’s no reason to be intimidated by braces. We’ll help you make sure they’re easy, safe, and comfortable.

Beauchamp Orthodontics is a family-friendly practice that welcomes everyone, from kids to adults. You’ll love our low-stress atmosphere. We’ll be glad to answer all your questions about braces, clear aligners, and orthodontic care in general. Working together, we’ll get you on the road to the straight, beautiful smile you want.

No matter your age, it’s not too late to get orthodontic correction that will improve the health and appearance of your teeth. Dr. Marielle Beauchamp is the Port Orange orthodontist who makes sure you always come first. You can go forward with confidence knowing your orthodontic treatments are customized to fit you.

To get started, schedule a consultation with us today.


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