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Food: Your Braces’ Deadliest Catch

Food: Braces' Deadliest CatchGetting braces is not always an easy transition. Although they are one of the most effective ways to straighten teeth and improve the health of your smile, adjusting to braces can take some time.

Not only do braces feel foreign, but also they create some limitations in terms of what you can eat. Oral hygiene changes as well, requiring that you brush, floss and rinse more frequently than you would have before.

We install plenty of braces at Central Florida Smiles, and we follow-up with orthodontic appointments that check on the progress your teeth are making. One of the most common dental concerns we see is an accumulation of food debris around the archwire and on the surface of the tooth enamel, and it often has to do with patients eating harmful foods without practicing proper dental care.

You’ll want your teeth to remain happy and healthy when it comes time for your braces to be removed, and you can do that by being mindful of the foods you eat. Here are some ways to care for your teeth and braces when consuming the foods and drinks you love.

Why avoid certain foods?

Although braces work wonders for the alignment of your teeth, their presence can make it easier for food debris and other bacteria to get lodged in between teeth and hardware. Brushing becomes more difficult as bristles are unable to get into hard-to-reach places, and flossing turns into a burden since you have to maneuver in and around your braces.

Regardless of how difficult it may be to practice good oral hygiene with braces, it’s still vital that you do so consistently. And one way to make the task easier is to steer clear from the foods and drinks that are making your at-home dental care problematic.

Foods that can cause harm

At first, it may be challenging to avoid certain foods, but we find that as you begin eating with your new braces, you will soon recognize which foods pose a risk to your teeth. It will become difficult to eat hard and sticky foods like candy. And they are particularly harmful due to the amount of sugar they contain. Foods like licorice, starbursts, gum and tootsie rolls will all stick to your braces and make them hard to clean as well as increase the build up of bacteria on your teeth.

Crunchy foods can also pose problems, particularly to the structure of your braces. The last thing you want to do is bend or break the wires or brackets in your braces and prolong your treatment, so we suggest sticking to softer foods to avoid any harm. Foods like apples, chips, corn, jolly ranchers and french bread should be avoided.

We understand that it may be hard to stop eating the foods you love. There may be times when you indulge in candy or chips, and it’s not the end of the world if you do. But when you eat harmful foods, it’s also important that you check your braces regularly for bent wires or loose brackets. If you notice any problems, contact Central Florida Smiles and arrange for your braces to be repaired.

For more information about the orthodontic treatment options we offer, feel free to contact either our Longwood (407.862.1870) or Lake Mary (407.805.0068) offices and schedule a consultation.