Braces are a highly-effective way of straightening teeth and they can be applied at any age from about twelve years old. There are many benefits to having straighter teeth, including: they are easier to keep clean, speech can be improved, it boosts self confidence and it can even reduce the occurrence of cracks, chips or breakages. But having braces means making some sacrifices and that usually involves refraining from eating some of your favourite foods. So which foods can you enjoy and which should you steer clear of? Let’s take a look.
What are the general rules to follow when you have braces?
When you come to have your braces fitted, your orthodontist will take you through a few dos and don’ts. Not only will these rules help to maintain the integrity of your braces, but they are also in place so that your teeth remain in top condition throughout the process. The general rules are as follows:
- Brush your teeth more often
- Floss more regularly
- Buy thin dental brushes and use those to go in between your brackets
- Replace your brush head more often, because braces can wear the bristles more quickly
- Avoid eating certain foods
- Pay regular visits to your orthodontist
17 foods to avoid when you have braces
You may have noticed that we touched on avoiding eating certain foods; well we are going to go through some of those foods with you. If you are not sure about whether or not you should eat something that does not appear on our list, make sure you consult your orthodontist before eating it. There might be a workaround that you aren’t aware of.
For example, let’s say you want to eat an apple, you won’t be able to eat it whole with braces on, but you can cut it up and enjoy the slices or chunks instead. If in doubt, always ask your orthodontic specialists, such as the ones we have here at Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic. The foods you should look to avoid when having braces includes the following:
- Whole apples
- Sticky foods
- Hard sweets
- Chewing gum
- Bubble gum
- Hard biscuits or cookies
- Hard or crusty bread
- Thin crust pizza
- Corn on the cob
- Carrots and other types of raw vegetables
20 foods you can eat when you have braces
Just as there are foods that should be avoided when you have braces, there are others that can be enjoyed freely and without fear of breaking your braces. Again, if you have any questions about the foods you can eat whilst having braces, make sure you ask your orthodontist. Some of the foods you can eat whilst having braces includes the following:
- Soft cookies or biscuits
- Mashed potato
- Pasta dishes
- Soft cheeses
- Eggs in any form
- Peanut butter
- Ice cream
- Still soft drinks, such as squashes or cordials mixed with still water
Tips for maintaining dental health when you have braces
Dental hygiene is paramount, generally, but it is even more important for those with braces. First of all, you will need a few things before you get started, including: a fluoride toothpaste, dental floss, a floss threader, a small toothbrush designed to go around the brackets of your braces. Typically, the head should be made up of soft nylon bristles with a flat brushing surface. Although, your orthodontist will likely recommend a toothbrush for you to use.
Once you have everything you need, you will need to focus on brushing your teeth and gums regularly, but it might take you longer to do this with braces on. Your orthodontist will provide you with all of the latest advice you need for adequate dental hygiene, but as a general rule, those with braces will need to brush their teeth up to five times a day, spending at least five minutes at a time cleaning their teeth and gums.
This is because food debris has far more space to hide and sit in, corroding your teeth over time. As braces are fitted for at least a year or two, this would be more than enough time for damage to occur. Those with braces will usually brush their teeth in the morning, after every meal and again before they go to bed. Along with making sure you are brushing your teeth properly and at the right frequency, you will also need to avoid the foods mentioned and ensure you are flossing as well.
What should I do if I damage my braces?
If you end up damaging your braces, for whatever reason, it is imperative that you contact your orthodontist immediately. This way, you can go back to the dental practice and have your issue rectified as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence when it comes to braces, so if you do experience any problems, be sure to contact your orthodontic specialist right away.
Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic have a team of highly-qualified dentists and orthodontists who are able to perform excellent dental care and procedures for our patients throughout Loughborough and the surrounding areas. If you are looking to have braces fitted, then choose our specialist orthodontics service. We endeavour to make our patients our priority, ensuring they are comfortable throughout the course of their visit. In addition to specialist dental care, such as periodontal, orthodontic and endodontic procedures, we can also fit dental crowns and bridges, implants and fillings, to name just a few of the things we do here. If you would like more information about our dental procedures, get in touch with a member of our friendly, professional team – we are always happy to help.