Braces Friendly Foods

It seems like everywhere you look around, you find someone wearing braces. That is a new finding, since the demand for braces has increased a great deal over the past few years. However, there are some questions about braces that have been present ever since the beginning, and will probably continue to exist forever. Questions like: What do braces feel like? Do they hurt? What are the braces friendly foods? What are their common side effects?

We – as orthodontists – completely understand your questions. Braces is a long journey, and you should be very comfortable with the amount of information you have before embarking on that great trip. So here we attempt to answer at least one of the common questions, and probably the most important one since it relates to food.

Why are there food restrictions with braces?

Braces will be attached to your teeth for at least 6 months. During that time, they act through continuous, mild pressure. This means they do their effect over time, slowly – but surely – pressurizing the teeth to move wherever we plan. When that pressure is interrupted – like when one of the brackets falls off or breaks – the force is also interrupted, and the movement of the teeth ceases. If that is repeated, your treatment time will increase a great deal. Certain types of foods can break the brackets, and so they are strictly forbidden during the course of treatment.

What are the braces friendly foods?

We know how much you love food. And we know how much food restrictions can be an inconvenience. But fear not, as the restrictions are really not that many. Here are some examples:

  • Hard foods:

    Hard foods easily break the bond between the bracket and the tooth. In fact, it can break the bracket itself (in case of clear ceramic braces not the metal ones of course). It is best to steer clear from such hard foods. These include nuts, chips, popcorn, as well as hard fruits such as apples and pears.

  • Sticky foods:

    The problems concerning sticky foods are two-fold:

    • They stick to the brackets and the surface of the teeth. They are also very difficult to clean, and cause a variety of problems such as decay and gum disease. It is well-known that oral hygiene with braces is already compromised, so you shouldn’t add to that burden with foods that are impossible to clean.
    • Even if you do succeed in cleaning them, it is highly likely that the braces will be dislodged in the process.

Sticky foods include gum, toffee, caramel and all things of the sort.

With the exception of the abovementioned foods, all else is permitted. Not only that, but these restrictions are not for all types of braces. They apply to the kinds that are attached to the teeth surface – namely metal braces, clear braces and lingual braces -. However, if you choose a removable type – namely Invisalign – then you can throw these restrictions out the window. Invisalign has nothing attached to the teeth surface, so no risk of breakage or dislodgment. They can also be removed, so teeth cleaning is a piece of cake.

So when it comes to braces friendly foods, it all depends on the type of braces you choose, and your ability to avoid such prohibited items should play an important factor in your choice.

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