So, you’ve called your local orthodontist and are scheduled to get your braces applied shortly. You are feeling pretty good about things — you certainly aren’t as nervous as some of your friends and family members were before getting their own orthodontic treatment.

However, there is one thing you just realized you haven’t considered at all. It’s the food. It’s not that you weren’t abstractly familiar with the idea of needing to change your diet when getting braces, it’s just that you never really applied it to yourself on a personal level. Plus, it just so happens that you are likely the world’s number one consumer of Tootsie Rolls and Starburst, and, as such, your quality of life is suddenly in doubt (such is the nature of your affection for said chewy candy).

What can be done? You could weep and mourn for your loss, for one thing. But another, slightly more mature option would be to do some digging to find out exactly what you can and can’t eat while wearing braces. So without further ado, we at Rogers & Andrews Orthodontics are happy to put our expertise and experience to use for you — keep reading if you want your local orthodontic office to inform you which foods you should avoid (and eat!) while wearing braces.

Why Does It Matter?

Just to make sure everyone reading this blog is on the same page, we figured that we might as well make sure that everyone knows why the topic at hand is so important. Unfortunately, the negative effects of eating the wrong kinds of food include broken wires and brackets on your teeth. This hurts, and on top of the pain this usually means you’ll need to wear your braces for a while longer than initially anticipated…and prolonging orthodontic treatment isn’t something people typically seek out!

What’s more, certain kinds of food (which we will list below) can prove to be particularly difficult to expel when cleaning your braces-adorned teeth. Bits of food get into the gaps between your teeth and, if they remain their uncleaned, could lead to more serious issues like tooth decay or worse.

And while we are thinking about it, we’d be remiss if we failed to inform our readers that chewing habits matter do matter when it comes to oral health while wearing braces. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to cut out chewing and biting habits like chewing on pens, nails, ice cubes, and the like. Make sure you talk to us if you have any questions about these issues.

Foods To Avoid With Braces

If you couldn’t tell already, we genuinely enjoy sharing relevant knowledge with our readers. Because we tend to get a bit carried away from time to time, we’ve decided that today’s blog is best suited to be a two-part series. Below, we’ll address foods to avoid while wearing braces. In part two, we’ll take the time to outline foods are much better

Candy

Let’s start with a food group that really isn’t a food group at all, although you do see it at the top of the iconic food group pyramid categorized among “fats, oils, and sweets”.

But no matter how near and dear to your heart your favorite kind of candy might be, the reality of the situation is that you’ll probably need to amend those habits — especially if your morsel of choice is a chew.

The fact of the matter is that candy is quite destructive to your braces, and, by extension, your teeth. Sticky candy is the worst culprit: toffee can stick, gummies can get caught, and caramel…don’t even get us started on caramel! Likewise, hard candy can be similarly problematic. Even chocolate covered nuts will get trapped, with the remains proving quite difficult to clean.

Ultimately, candy should be avoided as much as possible by wearers of braces. The reason for this is because teeth are significantly more vulnerable to decay while cased in braces. Because sugar leads to plaque and tartar, hard and chewy candy alike ought to be removed from your diet as much as you are able to.

Seeds & Nuts

While we wouldn’t expect many braces-wearing people to think that they’d be able to mow down on a pound of candy each day, we do hear some level of surprise when we inform folks that they’ll need to be careful when eating nuts and seeds.

To be clear, we aren’t saying you can’t eat any nuts or seeds while wearing braces; we simply want to warn you that doing so is fairly challenging for the majority of people who do it. Why? Nuts and seeds are hard and small. This makes it none-too-difficult to break off a bracket or a band while trying to crack that nut. Even bending a wire can lead to unsavory results, including moving a tooth into an unwanted position.

Again, it’s not impossible, but it’s vital to be very careful while eating nuts and seeds. If you are willing, we’d recommend transitioning to nut spreads in order to get the same nutritional value. A word of caution, however: avoid especially sticky peanut butter and “chunky” peanut butter filled with peanuts…for obvious reasons.

Additional Foods To Avoid

The food types listed below might not fit into a proper category, but they are still worth mentioning:

  • Chewy breads
  • Hard bagels
  • Popcorn
  • Gum
  • Ooey gooey chocolate bars
  • Beef jerky
  • Other tough meats, such as steak
  • Raw vegetables (be careful, at the very least)
  • Pretzels
  • Ice cubes
  • Corn on the cob (anything on the cob, for that matter)
  • Pizza crust
  • Apples
  • Hard taco shells
  • Rolls
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers

Minimize Food Like:

  • Ice cream
  • Soda
  • Pie
  • Cookies
  • Cake
  • Candy

Of course, some of these foods can be broken up into smaller, more manageable pieces, such as steak, vegetables, or even pretzels.  

Come Visit The Top Orthodontist In Augusta!

We hope that you’ve enjoyed part one of this two-part series on which foods to avoid and eat while wearing braces. If you are looking for a reliable Augusta orthodontist, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Rogers & Andrews Orthodontics. Believe it or not, we’ll talk less about how you should avoid Sugar Daddies and licorice and more about the big-picture outlook of your oral health.

We are passionate about what we do, and what we do is help people with reliable and affordable orthodontic services in Augusta! Whether you are interested in braces, retainers, Invisalign, or aren’t even sure what kind of treatment you need, we are here to help.

So be sure to keep an eye out for part-two, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you are interested in becoming a patient of our Augusta orthodontic office! We’d love to see you walk through our doors!