Through orthodontic treatment with braces, your smile will be improved for a lifetime. You can also enjoy improved functionality with chewing, speaking, and more. The treatment process can last for several years, and it requires you to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle. Most importantly, you need to know what not to eat with braces.
How Do Braces Affect Eating?
Eating with braces can be a challenge at times. After all, you may have to contend with food getting stuck in them or other issues. You also must be aware of the possibility of breakage. Your braces are comprised of sturdy metal or ceramic brackets. An archwire connects these brackets. The brackets are held in place on your teeth using orthodontic cement.
However, while the brackets can withstand tremendous force, the archwire and the cement bond are weaker. By learning what not to eat with braces, you can avoid breakage. Keep in mind, breakage can set back your treatment process.
What Not to Eat With Braces During the First Week
There is an adjustment period after your braces are initially put on. During this period, your teeth may feel very sore. In addition, wires may be rubbing against your inner cheeks and may irritate them. Rest assured that this discomfort will gradually fade away within a week or two. However, some foods will elevate your discomfort and should be avoided.
What are you not supposed to eat with braces during the first week? First, avoid eating crusty or chewy bread, which can be difficult to bite on and chew. Tough foods like some meats and jerky, chips, and fruit leather should be avoided. In addition, steer clear of crunchy fruits and vegetables like celery, apples, carrots, and others.
Some foods may be soothing to your mouth after you get braces. Cold foods, such as ice cream and chilled smoothies, can have a numbing effect. Consider loading your fridge with cold foods before the installation appointment.
How Long After Getting Braces Can You Eat Normally?
After your initial discomfort passes, you may be able to resume some of your normal eating habits. However, the discomfort may return each time your braces get adjusted. Depending on the nature of your treatment, this may be every one to three weeks in many cases. Be aware that there are some foods that you should avoid entirely while your braces are on. These are foods that can cause damage to the braces.
What Foods Should Not Be Eaten With Braces?
Some foods are more likely to cause damage to braces than others. These are foods that impact the weaker areas of the braces, such as the archwire and cement. Because of this, you can prevent damage by avoiding some foods.
Why Do Certain Foods Need to Be Avoided With Braces?
Generally, the brackets of your braces will not break because of the strong material they are made out of. However, the thin archwire can snap in some cases. In addition, the cement bond that holds the brackets in place is not as strong as the brackets themselves. As a result, eating some hard or sticky foods can break the bond and cause the brackets to fall off.
List of Things You Should Avoid Eating With Braces
There are a variety of foods that should be avoided while your braces are on. These are generally foods that are hard, crunchy, or sticky. What are you not supposed to eat with braces?
- Pretzels and chips
- Hard candy
- Hard crackers and cookies
- Raw fruits and vegetables that are hard or crunchy
- Crunchy bread and croutons
- Gum and other sticky candy
What to Do If Your Braces Become Damaged
The effectiveness of your braces will be halted while the braces are damaged. In some cases, the position of the teeth can revert, and you may lose progress. As soon as you discover that your braces are damaged, you should contact your orthodontist’s office. You will need to visit the office soon so that the damage can be repaired and treatment can continue.
In addition, you should make accommodations while you wait for your appointment. For example, you may need to use orthodontic wax to ease discomfort from a loose archwire. You may also need to eat softer or liquid foods to avoid causing further damage.
Foods That You Can Eat With Braces
With a long list of foods to avoid, you can feel as if you are on a strict dietary restriction. However, there are many foods that you can safely enjoy throughout your treatment. Generally, these are foods that may require minimal biting and light chewing. Some of these include:
- Soft cheeses
- Baked, mashed, or steamed vegetables
- Soft cheeses
How to Effectively Eat With Braces
With time, you will become accustomed to eating with braces, but there will be an adjustment period. In addition to avoiding some foods, there are things that you can do to make eating more comfortable. These practices can also help you to reduce the risk of breakage. For example, you can cut food into smaller pieces and take smaller bites. In addition, avoid biting into hard foods, such as apples and corn on the cob. You may also train yourself to chew slowly.
Regardless of what you eat, remember to brush your teeth as soon as possible after each meal or snack. Bacteria and food particles can accumulate near the brackets. As a result, cavities can form in these areas.
Palm Beach Orthodontics Is Your Choice for Quality Orthodontic Care
Are you thinking about getting braces? Perhaps you are preparing for the installation of new braces. While the discomfort will be short-lived, the adjustments to your eating habits are essential as long as you wear braces. At Palm Beach Orthodontics, our team is available to answer all of your questions. Rest assured that we want you to be prepared for the experience. To learn more about what not to eat with braces and for answers to your other questions, call us today.