It may be hard to know what you can eat with braces. Following your orthodontist’s advice during your braces treatment is the best course of action you can take if you want quick and good results. That includes not only brushing and flossing properly and consistently but also avoiding dangerous foods. Following these recommendations will lead to expected results, better oral health, and fewer orthodontic emergencies.
Foods to Can’t Eat With Braces
One of the most important factors that could affect your orthodontic treatment, next to a good brushing routine, is your diet. If you are going through braces treatment, you’ll have to respect your orthodontist’s instructions on dietary restrictions. Failure to follow their guideline and remove some foods from your diet can result in longer treatment times, white spots on your braces, cavities, infections, and much more.
Here are the types of foods that you should avoid during your times with braces.
Crunchy foods like potato chips, hard-shell tacos, popcorn, and crackers can all damage your braces if consumed. While braces are more durable than ever, brackets can still loosen, and wires can still bend. As mentioned, repetitive occurrences can lead to delays in the treatment or even allow your teeth to move into a non-intended position.
Much like crunchy foods, hard foods can and will damage your appliances if you eat them without care. Hard fruits, hard vegetables, thick cuts of meat, ice, nuts, and pizza crust are just a few examples. However, If you are careful and cut them into small pieces, then you and your appliances should be safe to eat them. As a general guideline, avoid anything that you need to bite into. The motion of taking a bit out of something puts your braces under severe stress, and it’s here where they generally break.
Aside from the pulling and pushing motion they exert on your braces, which could make the brackets or archwires break, they are also obviously very sticky, meaning that they will get stuck in the most hard-to-reach places in your teeth and braces. They will make brushing and flossing much more difficult, and not cleaning at all will have even worse consequences in the form of tooth decay and cavities.
While you can have foods like pancakes, sodas, milkshakes, cakes, and ice cream occasionally without the immediate danger of damaging your braces, eating them too often is dangerous to your oral health. The sugar in sugary foods reacts with bacteria and food residues in your mouth to form acids which then mix with the bacteria and residues to form plaque. The plaque will stick to your teeth and gums and, if left undisturbed, will eat away the outer layer of your tooth, leaving you more exposed to cavities and infections.
What Fast Food Can You Eat With Braces?
As you can see, many foods can and will damage your braces if given a chance. Sadly, this makes people believe that during their time with braces, they won’t be able to enjoy most of the delicious foods normally available to them. Fortunately for them, there are many unexpected foods that they can still enjoy. For example, there are many braces-friendly fast food items that orthodontic patients can still consume to their liking.
Here is a list of fast food items you can consume and when to be careful around them.
Chicken nuggets are great to eat as long as you cut them into little pieces. While the inside of the nugget is quite soft, it is the harder outside layer that could damage your appliances if you bite into it. Cutting them into little pieces should let you enjoy as many as you want.
You can eat french fries, but you will have to be careful with some of them. Overly crunchy fries or fries heavily coated in sauces can represent a danger to your appliances. While most of the time, fries aren’t hard enough to cause damage, they or some heavy sauce accompanying them can still get stuck in your braces.
As long as you don’t have any hard, crunchy, or sticky toppings, pizza is mostly safe for you to eat, except for the crust. The pizza crust is either too chewy or too crunchy for your braces to handle. If you want to be able to eat pizza at all, you’ll have to make the sacrifice of leaving your crusts on the side until you finish your treatment.
Burgers come back to the biting into food situation. You’ll want to avoid that motion as much as possible, so consider cutting the whole burger into small bite-size pieces. This way, you’ll be able to avoid damage to your braces while still getting to eat the deliciously greasy treat.
Enjoy Your Treatment With Profesional Help
While we insist you enjoy delicious meals as much as possible, we remind you to always space out your fast food outings to avoid health complications. If you have more questions regarding your oral health or decide it’s time for regular professional cleaning, contact us here at Sturbridge Orthodontics.