Straight teeth and a healthy smile don’t happen without hard work. By getting dental braces, you take a huge step towards better oral health. However, it is best to expect that they may come with some challenges, especially when eating.
When you have braces, there are certain foods which can make your teeth tough to clean and cause damage. Let’s face it, you didn’t spend your hard-earned cash just to ruin your braces.
To ensure that your investment doesn’t go to waste, here’s your guide as to what foods you can eat and what you should avoid.
Foods to Eat
The foods you can eat with braces are usually those that don’t require extreme chewing and aren’t high in sugar.
● Breakfast – bacon, eggs, yogurt, wheat toast, or oatmeal
● Lunch – banana, salad without nuts, or a simple sandwich
● Dinner – any vegetables so long as they’re cooked to a soft texture, lean protein like fish or chicken
The foods mentioned above encourage less wear and tear on your braces. But, you don’t have to be sad about not being able to eat the foods you love. You can still enjoy them by cooking them in the right way. For instance, if you love ribs and uncooked carrots, try cutting the meat off the bone and cook the carrots instead.
As the dental braces start to change the position of your teeth, the dentist will adjust them periodically to continue with the alignment process. After every appointment for adjustment, your teeth may feel a bit sensitive and sore to particular foods for a few days.
During the post-adjustment period, it’s best that you eat foods that are soft and need less chewing like:
● Cottage cheese
● Ice cream
● Mashed potatoes
● Pasta or rice
Thankfully, many superfoods, such as acai berries and avocados, have a soft texture so you can still maintain a healthy diet.
Foods to Avoid
Once you wear dental braces, you should aim to eat healthily and avoid excessive snacking. Some foods which are too hard may cause damage to your braces by causing wires to break and tearing the brackets off your teeth. Avoid foods that are hard and are likely to get stuck between your teeth such as:
● Corn on the cob
● Whole apples
● Hard candy
● Meat on the bone
● Chewy candy, gum, or taffy
● Raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower
● Any kind of nuts
Food stuck in your teeth makes it harder for you to clean your mouth properly, and as a result, causes the breeding of bacteria. If you’re unsure as to what foods can damage your braces, consult your dentist first for advice.
Read more: 7 Best Foods to Lose Weight Fast
Caring for Braces
Dental braces need special care. Consider the following care tips to ensure the success of your dental treatment.
1. Brush and floss
When wearing braces, food may get trapped between the teeth and braces. If you don’t remove them regularly, they can cause cavities and stain your teeth.
2. Use fork and knife
Biting your food can cause it to get stuck in your braces. Every time you eat, use a fork and knife to eat foods, even burgers, and pizza. Break your food down into bite-size pieces to make it easier for your teeth to chew and avoid damaging your braces.
3. Visit your dentist
Routine dental cleaning and check-ups are vital when you’re wearing braces. This helps your dentist ensure that your teeth stay healthy during the treatment.
4. Be mindful
Common causes of broken and loose brackets are unconscious habits such as chewing on pens and fingernail biting. Try to stop your bad dental habits by being more aware of them.
Practice Discipline and Good Hygiene
Regardless of whatever food you eat, what’s important is you keep the crevices between your teeth and around the braces clean. This means you have to be diligent with brushing and flossing after meals to prevent plaque and decay. This doesn’t only cause damage to your teeth and gums but also causes discoloration that can last a lifetime.
If you want to get the best results from your dental braces, it’s crucial that you follow your dentist’s advice about what foods are safe for your braces. Keep in mind that braces only become effective when you properly care for them and eat the right foods.
Dr. Zul Paliwalla is the General and Cosmetic British Dentist at NOA Dental Clinic, specializing in smile-related concerns. With over 33 years of experience in the UK, Dr. Zul has successfully worked on and improved many internationally recognized smiles. He is a certified Invisalign® GOLD provider as well and has brought his elite expertise to Dubai not only to enjoy the sun, sea but also to offer his brand of personalized smile makeovers.