Braces are often the top choice for straightening young people's teeth. Braces are versatile, effective, and relatively inexpensive.
However, young patients need to take proper care of their braces to protect their oral health in the future. They must avoid these ten problem foods to keep their braces in good shape and prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Chewing gum
- Corn chips
- Hard taco shells
- Hard crackers or cookies
- Hard or sticky chocolate
- Hard candy
- Sticky candy
Why Avoid Hard Foods?
Hard foods like candy and ice require a great deal of bite force. Biting down on these hard foods can dislodge brackets, bend wires, or even break a tooth. The temptation to bite down on a jawbreaker or lollipop may be overwhelming for younger patients.
Why Avoid Sticky Foods?
Sticky foods can pull off brackets, break or bend wires, and become trapped in braces that are hard to clean. Too much sticky food can lead to severe tooth decay because removing it from tooth surfaces behind wires or brackets is difficult. Your child must avoid caramel, toffee, taffy, chewing gum, gummies, fruit roll-ups, fruit leather, and dried fruits.
Why Avoid Chewy Foods?
Chewy food may seem soft, but its texture puts pressure on braces. Foods like steak, poultry, beef jerky, thick and crusty bread, and chewy candy can damage braces and be difficult to remove.
Food to Prepare Carefully
Some foods are challenging to eat with braces, but your child can safely consume them if you prepare them properly. These foods include:
- Cut up hard vegetables and fruits like carrots, pears, and apples
- Remove corn from the cob
- Serve lean, tender meats that can be chewed with the back teeth
Better Food Choices for Braces Patients
Soft, easily chewed foods are better when your child has braces. Some options include:
- Nut spreads like peanut butter
- Tender cooked chicken
- Deli meat
- Soft slices of bread
- Mashed potatoes
Keeping Your Child's Braces Safe
The number of foods your child needs to avoid while wearing braces may seem overwhelming. Parents may receive complaints from child patients about being unable to eat their favorite foods.
It can be difficult for children and teens to keep a long-term goal in mind, but remind your child how great they will look and feel when they can remove their braces. Also, emphasize that if they comply with food limits, they will probably need fewer dental appointments in the future due to decay, gum disease, or broken braces.
Frequently Asked Questions About Braces
How long do braces take to work?
In general, braces take between one to three years. The treatment time depends on the severity of the patient's tooth alignment problems and whether they have jaw or bite issues.
What is the best age to get braces?
Typically, braces patients can be as young as ten years old. Adult patients can also get braces.
Call Attleboro Pediatric Dentistry
Keeping food restrictions in mind is a must for successful braces treatment. Ensuring your child eats a balanced diet without damaging their braces can be challenging, but your orthodontist can help you with your concerns. Please call our office at 508-409-6160 to schedule an appointment.