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Think Before you Bite – Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces

Braces are the bomb, but it’s easy to forget that they’re also delicate!

Most braces have three parts: stainless steel brackets adhered to your teeth using special dental glue, archwires that connect your brackets and guide your teeth into place and rubber bands that hold the archwires to the brackets. Generally, braces are very sturdy, but certain foods can separate your brackets from your teeth or otherwise damage them. If cleaned properly and treated with care, braces can give you a beautiful smile to last a lifetime – our goal here at Owens Orthodontics! Here’s a list of a few types of foods that we recommend you avoid while your smile is under construction.

Chewy Foods: Sticky or chewy candies like Starbursts, caramels, taffy, Skittles and even gum are bad for braces. Aside from being high in bacteria-causing sugar and often leaving a residue on your braces that can be tricky to clean, these candies are sticky enough to actually pull your braces away from your teeth. This would require an appointment to re-attach your orthodontic appliance, and may slow down your treatment process. It’s best to avoid these and similar candies altogether.

Front-Teeth Foods: Foods that are commonly eaten using your front teeth, such as corn-on-the-cob, apples, raw carrots, celery, spare ribs and chicken wings, should be cut up into smaller pieces or removed from the bone when enjoyed with braces. This way you can chew them using your molars and keep your braces safely in place.

Hard Foods: Some foods are just too tough to be eaten with braces. These include ice, nuts, popcorn, French bread, hard candies and some potato chips. Biting into these can bend or separate your brackets from your teeth, and popcorn has the potential to become lodged in your gums under your bracket, which could severely irritate your gums.

Sugary Foods: It’s always wise to avoid sugary foods whenever possible, but this is especially important while you’re wearing braces. Candies, gum and sugary sodas have the potential to cause heavy plaque build-up, which if not carefully cleaned soon after consumption can lead to swollen gums, white spots on your teeth and decay.

Non-Foods: There has never been a better time to kick old habits of biting your fingernails or chewing on other non-edible items such as pencils or pen caps. These hard objects can easily bend or break your brackets and can damage your teeth without braces too!

If you ever have any questions about whether a specific food is safe to eat with braces, please don’t hesitate to give us a call! We can’t wait to help you achieve and maintain a beautiful smile!

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