Eating with Braces

Foods that can harm your teeth and gums

Foods and drinks your dentist has suggested may cause dental caries should be restricted while wearing braces. 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 of time. If foods or drinks high in sugar content are to be consumed, we advise having them with regular meals or at one given time of day. Please make sure that careful brushing and rinsing takes place immediately afterwards. Between-meal snacks should be confined to foods without refined sugar and should be followed by vigorous rinsing if a toothbrush is not available.

The following foods can be particularly harmful to your teeth while wearing braces:

  • Toffee
  • Sticky lolly pops
  • Sugar on cereal or icing on cakes
  • Peanut butter
  • Syrup and honey or pancakes and waffles
  • Lemons (citric acid in juice can dissolve tooth enamel if eaten too frequently)

Foods that can harm your braces

Braces have been attached to your teeth with an adhesive that normally will withstand the forces of eating. However, braces can be dislodged and wires bent or broken while eating certain foods. Hard foods, such as nuts, hard candy, corn chips and even crisp taco shells can harm your braces and should be avoided. Chewing ice cubes can also be very destructive to your appliances. Some foods such as whole apples, raw carrots or celery are healthy snacks but must be cut to avoid damaging 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 the popcorn can become lodged between the braces and cause irritation to the gum tissue. Unpopped kernels can shear or break off brackets as well as bend or dislodge wires. Please inspect your braces when eating certain foods that may become caught on the braces or beneath the gums.

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