When you are working with an orthodontist to straighten your smile, you will need to take care to avoid damaging your braces during the treatment process. This means that certain foods are off-limits while you are wearing orthodontics. You should also be taking other steps to maintain your oral health and keep your orthodontics in good condition throughout the duration of your treatment.
Foods That Can Damage Your Orthodontic Appliances
Your orthodontist will instruct you to avoid certain foods while the appliances are attached to your teeth. Such foods can dislodge or damage brackets or alter wires, or they may get stuck to your appliances. These foods include:
- Chewy, sticky foods, like caramels or taffy
- Chewy bread, such as bagels
- Crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables (apples, carrots)
- Crusty breads (baguettes)
- Hard, crunchy snacks (chips, pretzels)
- Hard candies and lozenges
Some of these foods, especially the sticky, sweet ones, can also harm your teeth in addition to your braces. If sugary substances remain on the teeth for an extended period of time, oral bacteria can feed on those sugars and then produce tooth-attacking acids as a byproduct of digestion.
Caring For Your Smile During Orthodontic Treatment
Paying attention to the foods you eat is just one piece of the puzzle of taking care of your braces and the smile they are straightening. You also need to practice good oral hygiene habits, like brushing and flossing. Use that opportunity to inspect your braces, too, to make sure that nothing is out of place.
You should also continue to get professional teeth cleanings and exams while you are wearing your braces. This care is extra-important because it can be more difficult to keep your teeth clean on your own while brushing and flossing around brackets and wires.
Chewing on non-food items, like pencils or fingernails, can also potentially damage your braces, so steer clear of these habits during your treatment.
If you experience a problem with a bracket or wire, whether it is caused by food or some other factor, contact your orthodontist as soon as possible to have the appliances repaired.
We will thoroughly review all of the instructions for good care of your orthodontics with you before the appliances are placed on your teeth. If you have any questions about this aspect of your treatment at any time in the process, don’t hesitate to contact our team at McBride Orthodontics.