Wildflower Ortho Round Rock & Pflugerville TX

Types of Foods to Avoid with Braces & What to Eat Instead

foods to avoid with braces

Braces are those little metal fighters that straighten your teeth and make your smile look great. And while they do the work for you, taking care of your braces is part of making sure you get the results you want to see. One of the things you need to learn is the list of foods to avoid with braces and what alternatives you can opt for in the meantime.

Types of Foods to Avoid with Braces

A. Hard Foods

Braces use brackets attached to the front of your teeth along with wires to connect them and administer tooth movement. While modern braces use the most durable type of metal wires and brackets, chewing hard foods can still be detrimental to your appliance. These include:

foods to avoid with braces

  1. Nuts
  2. Hard candies
  3. Ice cubes
  4. Raw carrots
  5. Apples (unless cut into small, bite-sized pieces)
  6. Corn on the cob (unless removed from the cob and cut into smaller pieces)
  7. Hard pretzels
  8. Beef jerky
  9. Popcorn
  10. Croutons

B. Sticky and Chewy Foods

As you can imagine, cleaning your teeth becomes more challenging with metal cubes affixed to them. Now, think about that when you eat a gooey caramel candy. Eating sticky and chewy foods has a lot of potential to cause damage to your braces because they leave hard-to-remove pieces behind. This can cause plaque buildup and, eventually, cavities. Here is a list of chewy foods you may want to avoid during treatment:

  1. Caramel candies
  2. Taffy
  3. Gummy bears
  4. Fruit roll-ups
  5. Jelly beans
  6. Chewy candies (like Starburst or Skittles)
  7. Licorice
  8. Dried fruits (such as raisins or apricots)
  9. Marshmallows
  10. Sticky or chewy granola bars

Impact of Avoiding Certain Foods

You are protecting your braces from potential damage.

Avoiding certain foods isn’t just a matter of following rules; it’s about protecting your braces from potential damage. Here’s why it’s essential:

foods to avoid with braces

  1. Preserving Your Braces: Braces are delicate. Hard, sticky, and crunchy foods can easily damage the brackets and wires. By avoiding these foods, you’re helping to keep your braces in good shape, which means they can continue doing their job effectively.
  2. Preventing Unwanted Orthodontist Visits: Broken brackets or bent wires aren’t just inconvenient; they can also prolong your treatment time and increase your expenses. By steering clear of foods that can cause damage, you’re reducing the likelihood of needing emergency orthodontic appointments to fix problems.
  3. Staying on Track with Treatment: Orthodontic treatment requires consistency. Every broken bracket or damaged wire can slow down your progress. By being mindful of your diet and avoiding problematic foods, you’re helping to ensure that your treatment stays on track, ultimately leading to a shorter overall treatment time.

You are taking care of your teeth during treatment.

One of the major positive impacts of considering foods to avoid with braces is maintaining good oral hygiene throughout your orthodontic treatment. Remember, you still need to keep your oral health in check while you have braces on. Here’s why it’s crucial:

  1. Reducing the Risk of Plaque Build-Up: Sticky and chewy foods have a knack for getting trapped in the nooks and crannies of your braces, making it challenging to clean your teeth effectively. When food particles linger around your braces, they can lead to plaque buildup, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  2. Preventing Bad Breath: Ever noticed how certain foods can leave a lingering smell in your mouth? Well, those same foods can also get trapped in your braces, contributing to bad breath. By avoiding foods that are prone to getting stuck, you can help keep your breath fresh and your confidence high.
  3. Maintaining Overall Oral Health: Your oral health is essential, especially during orthodontic treatment. By avoiding sticky and chewy foods that can cause problems with your braces, you’re setting yourself up for success in maintaining overall oral health. This means fewer cavities, healthier gums, and a brighter smile at the end of your treatment journey.

You are potentially shortening your treatment time. 

Your compliance is an essential part of your treatment. Following the list of foods to avoid with braces plays a significant role in minimizing the time you have your braces on. Here’s how:

  1. Minimizing Interruptions in Treatment: Broken brackets or damaged wires can disrupt the progress of your orthodontic treatment. By avoiding hard, sticky, and chewy foods that are more likely to cause damage, you’re reducing the chances of setbacks that could prolong your treatment.
  2. Promoting Efficient Tooth Movement: Orthodontic treatment relies on consistent and controlled tooth movement to achieve desired results. Your braces can work more effectively to move your teeth into their proper positions when they are in good condition and unharmed by problematic foods.
  3. Improving Compliance: Following dietary guidelines and avoiding foods that can harm your braces demonstrates your commitment to your orthodontic treatment. By adhering to these recommendations, you’re more likely to comply with other aspects of your treatment plan, such as wearing elastics or attending regular appointments, which can contribute to faster progress and a shorter overall treatment time.

Alternative Options and Substitutions

Soft Foods

When it comes to eating with braces, soft foods are your best friends. They’re gentle on your braces and won’t cause any harm. Here are some braces-friendly soft foods to enjoy:

  1. Mashed potatoes: Creamy and comforting, mashed potatoes are easy to eat and won’t put any strain on your braces.
  2. Yogurt: Packed with calcium and protein, yogurt is not only good for your bones but also easy on your braces.
  3. Smoothies: Blend up your favorite fruits with some yogurt or milk for a delicious and nutritious treat that’s gentle on your braces.
  4. Oatmeal: Warm and filling, oatmeal is a great option for breakfast or a snack, especially when you’re craving something soft.
  5. Scrambled eggs: Protein-packed and easy to chew, scrambled eggs are a fantastic option for braces-friendly meals.
  6. Pasta: Whether it’s spaghetti or macaroni and cheese, pasta is a soft and satisfying option that won’t cause any problems with your braces.
  7. Soft bread: Opt for soft bread like sandwich bread or dinner rolls instead of crusty bread or bagels, which can be tough to chew.
  8. Smooth soups: From tomato bisque to chicken noodles, smooth soups are a comforting and braces-friendly option for lunch or dinner.
  9. Cottage cheese: Creamy and mild, cottage cheese is a soft and protein-rich option that’s easy to eat with braces.
  10. Steamed vegetables: Steam your veggies until they’re soft and tender for a nutritious side dish that’s gentle on your braces.

Types of Braces You Can Choose From

No matter which type of braces you choose, proper oral hygiene is crucial for successful treatment. Regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental check-ups, are essential habits to maintain throughout your orthodontic journey. At Wildflower Orthodontics, we provide the following options to cater to your lifestyle and habits:

  1. Metal Braces: The tried-and-true method for straightening teeth, metal braces are durable, effective, and more affordable than ever. With modern advancements, metal braces are now sleeker and more comfortable than in the past.
  2. Ceramic Braces: For those seeking a more discreet option, ceramic braces blend in with your natural tooth color, making them less noticeable than traditional metal braces. They offer the same effectiveness as metal braces but with added aesthetics.
  3. Self-Ligating Braces: These braces use a specialized mechanism to hold the archwire in place, reducing friction and allowing for more efficient tooth movement. Self-ligating braces often result in shorter treatment times and require fewer adjustments.
  4. Invisalign: The clear aligner solution for straightening teeth, Invisalign, offers a virtually invisible treatment option. Removable and comfortable, Invisalign aligners allow you to maintain your oral hygiene routine with ease.

Unlock Your Perfect Smile with Wildflower Orthodontics

Along with proper compliance and oral hygiene, partnering with the right orthodontist to guide you through your treatment is key to getting the smile you deserve. Trust Dr. Joseph Giasi of Wildflower Orthodontics, a locally-owned practice in Round Rock and Pflugerville, TX, to provide you with personalized care and affordable treatment options.

What Makes Wildflower Orthodontics Different

  • Individualized Care: Unlike corporate orthodontic chains, we prioritize personalized care tailored to your unique needs and budget.
  • Community-Centered Approach: We believe everyone deserves a beautiful smile, which is why we work with you to make treatment affordable and accessible.
  • Proven Track Record: Voted Round Rock’s Most Loved Orthodontist five years in a row, and trusted by the Round Rock Express, we’ve earned local praise for our exceptional service.

Schedule your consultation with Dr. Joseph Giasi today and experience the difference of compassionate treatment.

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