Foods To Avoid
There are certain dietary habits that are known to cause breakage
of orthodontic appliances, as well as increase the risk of dental
disease. Our aim is to achieve the treatment goals with as few
setbacks as possible due to appliance breakage or dental decay.
Potential Harm to Your Teeth and Gums
Foods and beverages that can cause dental cavities should be
restricted while wearing braces. Sticky foods remain on your braces and teeth for long periods of time, and if these foods are high in
sugar content, they feed the bacteria in the oral cavity and convert this sugar into an acid byproduct. Soft drinks are almost always very high in sugar content as well; and, combined with snack foods with
simple carbohydrate sugars like potato chips, the teeth can be very
susceptible to this acid attack, called decalcification.
Decalcification leads to white spots, the visible, ugly first step
toward out and out dental decay. Gum inflammation and disease
can also be a result of increased acid in the oral cavity.
If foods or drinks high in sugar content are to be consumed, we
advise having them with regular meals or at one given time of day. Please make sure that careful brushing and rinsing take place immediately afterwards. Between meals, snacks should be confined to foods without refined sugar and should be followed by vigorous rinsing if a toothbrush is not available.
Potential Harm to Your Braces
Braces have been attached to your teeth with an adhesive that will normally withstand the forces of eating. However, braces can be dislodged and wires bent or broken while eating certain foods. Hard foods, such as nuts, hard candy, and corn chips can harm your braces and should be avoided. Chewing ice cubes can also be very destructive to your appliances. Some foods, such as whole apples, raw carrots, or celery are healthy snacks, but must be cut to avoid damaging your braces.
Chewy foods, such as gum, caramels, and even thick bread crusts, can bend and distort wires, causing treatment delays and extra visits for repairs. Popcorn can cause harm in multiple ways. The husks from the popcorn can become lodged beneath the braces and cause irritation to the gum tissue. Un-popped kernels can break off brackets as well as bend or dislodge wires. Please inspect your braces when eating foods that may become caught on the braces or beneath the gums.