Food and Braces

Food and Braces

Perhaps one of the hardest things about wearing fixed appliances is food restrictions and keeping your teeth clean. It seems like all those snacks you enjoy are banned because they could break brackets, ruin wires or rot your teeth. Life with braces can be a challenge, but monitoring your diet and oral hygiene will be well worth the effort. If you need any help choosing the right foods to eat or finding the right toothbrush, we can help. Don’t hesitate to call.

Eating With Braces

Braces are durable and made from highly advanced materials, but you still need to treat them with care and use caution while you eat; otherwise, you could set your treatment back. So, here is a list of foods you can enjoy occasionally, foods you can eat with caution and foods you should flat out avoid. And, don’t worry. You will be back to enjoying the foods you love in no time!

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Foods You Can Easily Enjoy

  • Fruit — bananas, applesauce, strawberries, kiwi.
  • Vegetables — spinach, beans, mashed potatoes, baked carrots.
  • Dairy — yogurt, milk, cheese, pudding.
  • Bread — soft tortillas, muffins without nuts, rolls.
  • Grains — pasta, rice, oatmeal.
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, hamburger, deli meat.
  • Seafood — salmon, tuna, crab.
  • Dessert — ice cream, milk shakes, gelatin, birthday cake, pie.

Foods to Cut Up or Eat Carefully

  • Croutons
  • French or Italian bread
  • Hard rolls
  • Thin crust pizza
  • Meats
  • Burgers
  • Corn on the cob
  • Raw and crunchy fruit
  • Raw and crunchy vegetables

Foods to Avoid Completely

  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Ice cubes
  • Bagels
  • Sticky candy
  • Hard candy
  • Chewing gum
  • Frozen candy bars
  • Hard taco shells or chips
  • Sticky or hard chocolate
  • Hard cookies, crackers and pretzels

You will also want to be careful about what you drink. Beverages like soft drinks, energy drinks and acidic juices could all damage the enamel. You cannot afford to have severe erosion, especially while wearing braces. Instead, drink lots of water with braces so you can reduce the risk of decay.

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Dental Hygiene with Braces

It is even more important to brush and floss after every meal when you have braces. This is the only way to keep your gums and teeth healthy and stain free throughout your orthodontic treatment. Always remember to take a gentle approach when brushing, using a soft brush and gentle motions. Brushing your teeth should be deliberate, but not rigorous or you could damage your appliances or teeth. It may prove challenging at first, but it is crucial! Fortunately, with the right tools and routine, we can help make your dental hygiene with braces a little easier. Here are a few tools to use and tips to follow.

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Dental Hygiene Tools

Nic will probably give you a proxy brush to use while you have braces. It is a thin brush that looks like a Christmas tree and is meant to clean between the wire and your tooth. Be sure to use this in addition to your regular toothbrush and replace the tip often. You also will be given special floss or a flossing needle to help thread dental floss between your wires.

How to Brush with Braces

  1. Rinse your mouth to loosen food particles caught between brackets and wires.
  2. Run your toothbrush under hot water before you get started to eliminate any lingering bacteria from your last cleaning.
  3. Smear a dab of toothpaste on your brush and begin on your lower jaw, slanting the bristles mostly to the top of your mouth and slightly inwards towards your teeth.
  4. Brush gently back and forth, working your way to the top of teeth to dislodge food from between your brackets.
  5. Continue all around lower jaw and spit if necessary.
  6. Flip your toothbrush and do the same to your upper jaw, with bristles down and slightly angled against your teeth.
  7. Then turn the brush downward to brush the tops of your braces and upward to brush the bottoms of your braces.
  8. Next turn your bristles so they directly face the surface of your teeth and brush the part of your teeth and braces people see.
  9. Then brush the biting surfaces of your teeth and the backs of your teeth, making sure you don’t miss any surfaces.
  10. Finish off with your gums and tongue.

Damaged appliances, infection or decay can increase the length of your treatment process. You don’t want that! If you do happen to break a bracket or loosen a wire, call Alpers Dental in Auckland right away at (09) 524-5056.

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Food and Braces January 4, 2015