Diet & Eating With Braces
Although some patients are able to eat or drink almost anything while in braces and have no ill effects, certain dietary habits are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances and increase the risk of dental disease. Our aim is to achieve the treatment goals with as few disturbances due to appliance breakage as possible and to minimize the side effects of poor diet choices. Remember, teeth move their best in a healthy environment.
Sticky foods are to be avoided because of the increased risk of dental decay and appliance breakage. These foods stick to your braces and remain on your teeth for long periods. Braces can be dislodged and wires bent or broken while eating certain foods. Hard foods, such as nuts, hard candy, chips, and even taco shells can harm your braces and should be avoided. Chewing ice cubes can also be very destructive to your appliances. Whole apples and raw vegetables, such as carrots and celery, must be cut into smaller pieces to avoid damaging your braces.
Beware of nail biting and pen- or pencil-chewing habits, which can damage your braces. Chewy foods such as gum, caramels, and even thick bread crusts can bend and distort wires, causing treatment delays and extra visits for repairs. Popcorn can cause harm in multiple ways. The husks from popcorn can become lodged beneath the braces and cause irritation to the gum tissue. Unpopped kernels can shear or break brackets as well as bend or dislodge wires. Eliminate or reduce the consumption of carbonated drinks. The acid and sugar from these drinks can lead to an increased risk of dental decay. Excessive broken appliances due to careless eating habits may result in additional charges for repair.