Braces are a time-tested method of giving wearers great smiles. They also mean lots of responsibility on the part of the wearer to maintain great oral hygiene, even though it’s more challenging. Another part of the deal is staying away from foods that can bend the wires out of place or loosen brackets. If you indulge in these foods, you should schedule a regular dentist’s visit to keep from getting cavities.
Here’s a list of foods to avoid at all costs in order to keep your braces in great shape.
Bubble Gum: You’ll be picking this stuff out of your braces for days. It’s really best to just stay away until your braces come off, and even then, go for a sugar-free variety to keep your newly straightened teeth healthy.
Beef Jerky. This leathery food definitely takes a lot of chewing that braces just can’t handle.
Hard and/or sticky Candies. The temptation to crunch down is just too high, and all that sugar can get behind your wires, where it’s really difficult to remove through brushing.
Ice Cubes. In general, crunching down on ice cubes is bad for your teeth. They’re just not designed to handle that kind of impact.
Nuts. All nuts are pretty much off limits until the braces come off.
It’s best to use common sense when eating tougher foods. Some can be ok, but cutting them up first is the best way to keep your wires and brackets in shape. This is especially true for foods like apples and pears that are tough to bite into, but aren’t so bad as smaller pieces. Also, with foods like raw carrots, it’s best to cook them just a bit to soften them up before enjoying them. For foods like chicken wings or ribs, you can still eat them, but cut the meat off the bone before you do.
There’s definitely a tradeoff when getting braces. You do have to give up some foods for a little while, but once the braces come off, you can go back to enjoying those foods you love. In return, you get a lifetime of straight teeth. If you happen to damage a bracket or wire, make an appointment with your orthodontist right away.