Did you know that people with straight teeth are perceived as being more successful and smarter?
While we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, that doesn’t mean that we don’t. Having straight teeth is something that can lead us to feel more confident in our smiles and our looks. For that reason, it’s no wonder it is so common for people to have braces at some point in their lives.
While having braces has a long list of benefits, it does mean that you have to sacrifice some time, attention, and energy to the cause. Keeping your braces clean and in good shape is important to keep your treatment on track. As a part of that, there are certain foods you shouldn’t eat while you have braces on.
What foods should you eat and avoid while you have braces? Let’s take a look at the top ten foods in each category.
Why Are There Foods You Should Eat and Avoid With Braces?
When you have braces, your mouth has a permanent installation for a period of time. Braces are fragile and can therefore be damaged by certain foods. If your braces get damaged, your treatment time could be extended and lead to you wearing them for longer.
If you have to have your braces repaired, it can mean extra appointments and hassle. The best thing you can do is avoid eating foods that can damage your braces so that your teeth straightening can remain on track.
Beyond damaging your braces, certain foods can also get stuck in your braces and lead to tooth decay and discoloration. For the sake of both your oral health and your smile, you’ll want to be mindful of what you’re eating while you have braces.
If it is truly unthinkable to you to avoid these foods, consider looking into Invisalign or other clear aligner options.
With clear aligners, you always have to take your trays out to eat and drink. Otherwise, you can damage your trays or stain them.
Having Invisalign or clear aligners also means that you will have to dedicate some time to taking care of them every day. You will need to brush and floss your teeth after every meal before you put your clear aligners back in. If this is not possible, you will at least need to thoroughly rinse your trays with water.
Even though you can eat and drink whatever you want when you don’t have your aligners in, there are still some foods that is best to avoid. These include dark-colored liquids like coffee and wine that can stain your teeth and your attachments. It’s also best to avoid sugary foods and drinks that can promote bad breath and tooth decay.
On top of that, you should also avoid gum, sticky or chewy items, or hard food and candy.
Top Ten Foods to Eat With Braces
As long as you have braces, you will need to be mindful of the fact that they are sensitive to damage. There are plenty of foods that are totally fine to eat when you are wearing braces.
Soups are a great food to eat when you have braces. Full of soft, cooked vegetables and warm broth, you won’t risk damaging your braces with a nice bowl of soup.
2. Soft or Cooked Vegetables
Eating vegetables every day is an important part of a healthy diet. You will just want to make sure that they are cooked or soft before you eat them so you don’t bend or break the wires or brackets of your braces.
Yogurt is also another wonderful food you can eat with braces. Consider using it as a part of a delicious smoothie to get in some of your daily fruits and vegetables. Just be sure to avoid berries with seeds!
Consider making oatmeal a part of your morning routine. Delicious, nutritious, and comforting, a nice bowl of oatmeal can be a great way to start the day with braces.
5. Scrambled Eggs
This is a great way to eat protein without causing any harm to your braces. There are also a lot of fun ways that you can spice up scrambled eggs to keep them interesting.
6. Soft Cheeses
While high cheeses should be avoided, there are plenty of delicious soft cheeses you can enjoy with braces. These include things like thinly sliced cheddar, cottage cheese, brie, or mozzarella.
7. Soft Fruits
Things like oranges, kiwi, melons, and grapes are fine for eating with braces. However, you will want to avoid harder fruits like apples and pears.
Seafood is another great way to get protein in your diet without damaging your braces. You should be mindful, though, of bones or shellfish shells.
Pasta is an easy food to eat with braces. Just be sure the other ingredients you’re adding aren’t too hard or chewy.
You can eat soft cooked rice and other cooked grains while you have braces. Choose these soft carbs over chewier or harder options like bread or dinner rolls.
Top Ten Foods to Avoid With Braces
While your diet doesn’t have to be bland when you have braces, you can’t eat everything you used to before you had them put on. You will want to know what foods to avoid so that you don’t cause damage to the wires, banks, or brackets.
For the duration of time you have metal braces, you’ll need to avoid eating popcorn. The husks can get wedged in between your teeth, and the kernels could potentially break the brackets or wires.
Nuts can bend the wires of your braces, so you should steer clear of them. When the wires get bent on your braces, it can slow down the process of achieving straight teeth.
3. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum can warp the wires of your braces. On top of that, it can get stuck in all the metal in a way that causes damage and is just a mess. While you have metal braces, you’ll want to avoid chewing on gum.
4. Hard or Chewy Candy
Most candy is going to be off-limits while you’re wearing braces. Not only should you be avoiding too much sugar for your oral health anyway, but also they can damage your braces. Whether candy is sticky, chewy, or hard, you should lay off until your braces have been removed.
5. Hard Rolls or Bagels
These types of chewy breads can get caught in your braces and loosen the brackets and wires. If you simply must have a bite of a bagel, you can tear it into small pieces and chew it up with your back teeth. However, it really is best to avoid them altogether.
6. Pretzels, Chips, Taco Shells, and Hard Crackers
While you are wearing your braces, you should stay away from these foods. If you want an alternative to hard taco shells, you can eat soft tortillas instead.
7. Pizza Crust
Pizza crust is too chewy to be safely eaten with braces. Not only can chewing foods get caught in wires and brackets, but they can also loosen the components of your braces.
It’s fine to have ice in your drinks, but you don’t want to chew on ice while you’re wearing braces. Actually, one of the most common causes of damaged braces is chewing on ice.
9. Crunchy Vegetables and Fruits
You definitely don’t have to avoid eating fruits and vegetables altogether. However, crunchy fruits and vegetables like raw carrots, pears, and apples should be avoided.
10. Corn on the Cob
You can totally still eat corn, but you should cut it off the cob first. Eating corn right off the cob could cause damage to your wire braces.
Choosing Invisalign Gives You More Options When It’s Meal Time
Getting braces might not sound like the most fun process. However, it can result in you having straight teeth and allowing you to be more confident in your smile.
It can be frustrating to learn what you should eat and avoid with metal braces. There is an alternative when it comes to metal braces, however. You can opt to get clear aligners or Invisalign instead, which allows you to have a lot more options when it’s time to eat your meals.
When you have clear aligners, you should always take them out before eating or drinking. If you don’t, they can become stained, damage, or cracked. It’s also important to brush and floss your teeth before you put your aligning trays back in your mouth.
Are you interested in getting clear braces? If so, contact our office today to set up an appointment for a free exam by clicking on the link below!