SETH V. SENESTRARO, DDS, MS
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics

braces in Milwaukie, OR

What To Eat When Wearing Braces

For patients who get braces in Milwaukie, OR, the staff of Copper Creek Orthodontics knows firsthand just how many questions you may have regarding what foods you can safely eat.

Braces make an excellent solution for anyone looking to improve the appearance or function of their smile. By successfully completing orthodontic treatment, patients of every age can finally get the smile they’ve always wanted.

Wearing braces, however, does mean making some changes to your daily diet. Overall, patients with braces should avoid eating sticky, crunchy, chewy, and hard foods. While avoiding your favorite foods certainly doesn’t seem like very much fun, eating items you should avoid can cause broken brackets and wires that can lead to delays in your orthodontic treatment plan. Broken brackets and wires can also cause discomfort should a jagged edge repeatedly poke or cut the delicate interior of your cheek.

In other words, failing to watch what you eat can cause you to be stuck wearing braces for an even longer period of time.

Foods to Avoid

Fortunately, the types of foods you need to avoid eating when wearing braces is fairly limited. However, the list does include many favorites that can make saying ‘no thanks’ a bit of a chore.

  • Gooey caramel chocolate bars. While tasty, caramel, nougat, and other sticky types of fillers commonly found in chocolate candy bars are a nightmare for braces. The gooey material can easily pull brackets and wires away from their proper position when eaten, and the sticky nature of these types of fillings makes it hard to properly clean your braces.
  • Chunky peanut butter. Much like caramel, thick peanut butter can easily become stuck to your brackets and pull at your wires when eaten. Chunky peanut butter also contains nuts, which can cause brackets to break if bitten down on too hard.
  • Hard candies and nuts. Any hard item, whether candy, nuts, or certain types of fruits, can cause damage to your braces. Biting into a hard or firm food can cause brackets and wires to break.
  • Chewy candy and gum. Candies like gummy bears and taffy can pull at your brackets and wires when eaten. This can cause wires to become displaced and for brackets to pull away from the surface of your teeth.
  • Popcorn. Going to the movies will take a little getting used to once you start wearing braces. But like many other foods on this list, popcorn presents a risk of your brackets and wires when eaten. Plus, popcorn kernels can become easily stuck between your teeth and wires, making it very difficult to properly clean your teeth.

Foods to Eat with Caution

While not fully on the ‘Foods to Avoid’ list, there are other items you need to be very careful with when consuming.

  • Chewy breads such as donuts and bagels. Make sure to tear these items into smaller bites so you don’t need to bite down and tear before chewing.
  • Crunchy potato chips don’t quite fall into the category of too risky to enjoy. However, when you do need to eat chips, eat them one at a time to avoid breaking any brackets.
  • Corn of the cob. Eating corn directly off the cob is one of the easiest ways to break a bracket. Instead, make sure to cut the corn off the cob before eating.
  • Carrots and apples. These types of fruits and veggies can cause you to inadvertently break a bracket if bitten directly into. By cutting them into small pieces, you can minimize any risk.
  • Sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice. While not directly a threat to your braces, drinking these types of beverages do increase your risk of tooth decay. Since your teeth are already going to be hard to properly clean while wearing braces, it’s best to limit the amount of sugar you consume daily.

If you have any questions about what to do after getting braces in Milwaukie, OR, make sure to ask any member of our staff during your next appointment to Copper Creek Orthodontics.

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