Sticky food

Types of Food that Braces Don't Like

Four types of food you should NOT eat if you have braces

When people are ready to get braces, one of the most common questions they have is: “Which food should I eat and which should I avoid?”

Sticky Food

I’ll highlight four categories of food you should avoid or limit while wearing braces:

1.) Sticky food

The reason you want to avoid sticky foods like caramel and Laffy Taffy is you chew on them, they tear off, and leave residual food particles above the braces (particularly in the back where you chew most). Now, when that happens, the food gets stuck, making it hard to clean and get out. Then, the food just sits there, attracting bacteria and plaque to that area. And, there’s nothing worse than having food stuck up there for days, because the gums get inflamed, redden, and become “angry,” resorting in many side effects. So, avoid sticky food because it tends to get stuck in the braces; makes it hard to clean the braces; and causes several problems for your gums and teeth.

One of the main questions I hear from patients is: Can I chew gum? Now there are a couple of camps on this topic, because it’s actually really controversial in the orthodontic world.

I feel it’s okay to chew sugarless gum because it tends to stay together better than Laffy Taffy or caramel. It won’t pull apart and get stuck in braces as easily. Also, it’s sugarless, so it won’t have a lot of the side effects that come from sugary candy. Lastly, studies on sugarless gum show the chewing motion can actually relieve some of the initial pain associated with braces. Overall, sugarless gum is not necessarily a bad thing.

2.) Hard food

Avoid hard food because it can break the brackets off the teeth and the seal (glue interface) the brackets have with the teeth. Why do the brackets come off so easily?Well, they’re built that way. We’d much rather have the bracket pop off if you eat something hard versus your tooth actually chip off. So, at a certain force level, the brackets will pop off. That slows down your treatment, which can be annoying for patients. So, ensure you cut up food like apples and carrots, versus eating them whole. You also want to stay away from ice when you have braces and anything else really hard like hard candies like jawbreakers.

Want to know how do you keep your teeth clean with braces on? Watch Dr. Matt Beecroft's informative video.

3.) Food that gets stuck in the gums and underneath the braces

The big one to avoid is popcorn. The kernels can get stuck underneath the actual brackets and bands (between your gums where the band wraps around the tooth). Then, you’ll experience a lot of swelling--a very uncomfortable feeling. I’ve even heard of instances where patients needed to go to the emergency room due to the swelling from food getting stuck. More often than not, the patients were eating foods they were told to stay away from. So, avoid anything small that could get stuck underneath the brackets or bands like sunflower seeds and food that breaks off and gets stuck like Doritos.

4) Sugary food

Limit soda and food with a lot of sugar because it just sits around the braces. It’s a lot harder to clean your teeth when you have braces. And, sugary food attracts bacteria and plaque, so cavities may develop.

So, make it easy for yourself. Avoid these types of food when you have braces and it’ll be much easier to keep your braces clean. Also, once you get your braces off, your teeth will look much healthier. For more information about oral hygiene you can visit our nearest office. Set your appointment with Dr. Matt. Beecroft today.

Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr Fredericksburg , VirginiaPhone: 540-898-2200

Types of Food that Braces Don't Like

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