The Do’s and Dont's of Eating with Braces
If you have braces, you may feel like there’s one long list of foods you can’t eat. While it is true that certain foods can damage your brackets and wires, you can still enjoy most foods if you prepare them properly. Find out which foods you should avoid while sporting braces and which are okay to consume with careful preparation.
Avoid These Items
Although these foods might be delicious, they can break, damage, or bend your braces:1,2
Sticky foods like caramel, gum, and other candy1,2
Hard and crunchy snacks such as pretzels, popcorn, and nuts1,2
Many raw fruits and vegetables are hard. However, braces are no excuse to cut out these healthy foods. Instead, cut produce into small pieces.3 For example, shred carrots before putting them into a salad or slice apples into bite-sized pieces and add to oatmeal.3 Also, cooking fruits and vegetables softens them so they’re gentler on your teeth.
Your dentist may have told you to cut down on sweets, even those that aren’t hard or sticky. When you have braces, food and plaque can get trapped between the tiny spaces.3 Sugar from food combines with plaque on your teeth to create acid.2 The more you snack on sugary or starchy foods the more times the acid eats away at the enamel on your teeth. Over time, the acid can result in white spots on your teeth that may be permanent and can also lead to cavities.2,3
Braces are meant to make your teeth straight and healthy; following this advice will help them get there.
1 “Braces and Orthodontics.” American Dental Association. www.ada.org/3061.aspx?currentTab=1. Accessed 2009.
2 “Can Adults Wear Braces?” Academy of General Dentistry, February 2007. www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=c&iid=322&aid=1303. Accessed 2009.
3 “Why Do People Get Braces?” Academy of General Dentistry, February 2007. www.knowyourteeth.com/print/printpreview.asp?content=article&abc=c&iid=322&aid=1304. Accessed 2009.