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Foods to Avoid During Orthodontic Treatment

what can I eat with braces

Orthodontic treatment involving wires and brackets requires limiting eating certain types of food to avoid damaging your braces. While you are undergoing treatment you will want to avoid eating hard foods, sugary foods, and sugary beverages, as these not only can damage your braces, but can also be harmful to your overall oral health. The bacteria that causes decay, decalcification, and gingivitis utilize fermentable carbohydrates (mainly sugar) as their food. The more fermentable carbohydrates in the mouth, the higher the bacteria count and the more likely problems can occur. We recommend that all of our patients be aware of the harm that certain types of food can cause and decrease your consumption or avoid them completely when wearing braces or a retainer.

Gooey and Sticky Foods

Candies and other gooey or sticky foods can cause your brackets to come loose or become trapped underneath the wires of your orthodontic appliances. We recommend that you avoid:

• Chewy candies such as taffy, caramels, and licorice

• Chewy pieces of bread, such as pizza crusts and bagels

Hard Foods

Hard foods can dislodge brackets and bend wires, so they should be limited while you are in treatment. Try to avoid:

• Ice

• Nuts

• Hard, crunchy chips

• Hard candies and lozenges

• Apples, raw carrots, and other crunchy fruits and veggies

• Hard slices of bread, such as pretzels and French baguettes

Anytime you have a wire or bracket that is loose or broken you will need to call the office to schedule an appointment for a repair. Numerous repairs can lead to prolonged treatment time and unnecessary tooth movement. If you are unsure if a certain food or beverage can be damaging to your braces, err on the side of caution and avoid it, or call our office to check with our staff to be sure.

We also suggest that you cease certain habits such as nail biting or chewing on items such as pencils and pens, especially while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Always give your braces a check after brushing to ensure that there aren't any broken or loose wires or brackets. Feel free to give us a call us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your orthodontic treatment.