10 foods that don’t agree with braces

When you get braces, you realize pretty quickly that some foods are more difficult to eat.  Even something as simple as a sandwich can be a challenge because the bread gets caught in the brackets.  If you already have braces, you’ve encountered some other foods that were much easier to eat in your pre-braces days.

There’s another issue when it comes to eating with braces: some foods are off-limits.  It’s important to think about this when making food choices because if you eat foods that don’t agree with braces, you could bend or break wires, detach brackets, or experience other issues that could lead to pain and discomfort.  Owl Orthodontics is happy to provide information and answer any questions you may have about food and braces.

In no particular order, let’s consider ten foods that don’t agree with braces.  Some foods on this list may surprise you but others are logical.

  1. Pizza crust – pizza is fine, but the crust can be, well, crusty.  Crust that’s too hard can damage your braces.
  2. Gum – aside from the fact that gum can cause a variety of problems with braces, it’s a nightmare to remove from your wires and brackets.
  3. Ice – resist the temptation to chew on it; let it melt and save yourself a lot of aggravation.
  4. Sticky foods, including gummy candies, taffy, candied apples, caramel, and so on.  All of these get tangled and stuck in your hardware and are very time consuming to remove.
  5. Nuts – in a contest between nuts and your brackets and wires, nuts have a pretty good shot at winning.  Don’t give them the chance.
  6. Popcorn – those little pieces of popcorn get stuck in every space between teeth; imagine the chaos they could cause with wires and brackets.
  7. Corn on the cob – see popcorn.
  8. Certain uncooked fruits and vegetables – including apples, carrots, pears, celery: if it’s very crunchy or difficult to bite, find a different way to enjoy it.  Cut it up into very small pieces so you can chew it rather than biting into it first.
  9. Sugary foods – your brackets are on your teeth and when you brush, you can’t clean the parts where the brackets touch.  For this reason, it is important to limit your intake of sugary foods.
  10. Wings and ribs: The rule is to cut the meat off the bone first – it’s easier to chew and less likely to get wedged in your braces.

In addition, remember to keep non-food items, such as pens, pencils, and your fingernails out of your mouth.  They can cause as much damage – or even more damage – than the items on this list.  If you are unsure about a particular food or have a question, please contact us.

Finally, take heart; although some foods do not agree with braces, many do.  If you’re looking for some new menu options, visit a special recipe page on the website of the American Association of Orthodontists.  If you have a recipe to submit, you can e-mail it using the link on the page.  With attention and care, you can enjoy a vast array of foods while ensuring that your braces are not damaged.  Bon appetit!

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