Now that you have had your braces placed, part of caring for them involves watching your food intake. Certain foods can dislodge your braces or break the brackets. Other kinds can become easily stuck and increase the risk of plaque or dental caries. This list can help guide you in choosing what foods to eat.
During the first few days your teeth may feel sensitive and hurt to touch. It is a good idea to eat soft foods that do not force you to bite down hard. Meals like yogurt, cheeses, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are excellent dishes that will reduce discomfort when chewing.
As your treatment progresses, you should refrain from eating food such as:
- Hard nuts or shelled foods
- Sticky snacks
- Ice cubes or chips
- Corn on the cob
- Very sticky or hard chocolate
These foods can become trapped within your wires and brackets. When you brush and floss, you might not be able to remove them and they can promote plaque growth and gum disease. Biting into hard foods like corn, apples, or ice chips can fracture or damage the delicate brackets. This is a very painful experience. Breaking the braces delays treatment because brackets need to be replaced and the entire row adjusted.
Chewing gum might be tempting, but the time it takes to pick out all of the little pieces is not worth the risk. For harder foods like cookies, soaking them in milk can soften it, making it easier on your metal braces and mouth.
Although your orthodontic braces are made to withstand force and pressure, it is important that you treat them well so you do not incur extra costs to replace broken wires brackets. In the long term, a healthy and clean smile is worth the dietary monitoring.