Braces are extremely beneficial for your physical appearance and your oral health, but they come with some restrictions. Not only can the brackets and wires be damaged, but while you’re wearing them, you’re more susceptible to tooth decay or gum inflammation due to trapped food. Some foods are riskier than others, so to keep your braces and your teeth safe, here are five options you should avoid.
The 5 Worst Foods for Braces
1. Whole Apples
Fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet, but particular choices can damage your braces if eaten whole. Biting into a crunchy apple scrapes your front teeth against the hard fruit, putting an extreme amount of pressure on your braces. Instead of eating tough fruits and vegetables whole, cut them up into smaller portions to protect your mouth gear.
Some of the worst damage to braces comes from chewing ice. Since ice is exceptionally hard in structure and will often fracture unpredictably when broken, chewing on it can have the same effect on your braces as hard vegetables. If you must have a drink with ice in it, be cautious. Try allowing the ice to sit in the drink until it has reached the desired temperature, and then remove the cubes.
One of the worst food choices you can make while wearing braces is hard or sticky candy. Hard candy poses the same risk as ice and vegetables, while sticky candy, like taffy or caramel, can easily become stuck behind brackets and wires. If you want sweets while wearing braces, opt for soft foods like ice cream or pudding.
Popcorn kernels that get stuck in teeth are hard to remove, even without the added obstacle of orthodontic devices. With metal braces, though, it can be impossible to dislodge a popcorn kernel without removing some of your brackets. Similarly, corn on the cob can become trapped as your teeth scrape along the cob. If you just can't resist eating corn, do yourself a favor and cut it off of the cob first.
While a little staining may seem like a small issue compared to some of the others here, it's still something to be aware of. If you’ve opted for Invisalign® or clear braces, you want them to stay clear and hidden. Brightly colored spices, such as turmeric, can stain braces and aligners, as can foods and drinks with strong dyes. Keep an eye out for foods, such as curry, that commonly contain these spices.
Cumberland Orthodontics, a leading orthodontist in south-central Kentucky, would love to make you smile. They are your trusted source for braces and Invisalign in Somerset and Columbia, KY. Visit their website to see their full range of services. To schedule an appointment, call (606) 679-8436 for their Somerset office and (270) 384-2910 for their Columbia office.