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I Song Orthodontics understands that it can be a drag to have braces. If you aren’t using accelerated orthodontics, the general amount of time you’ll spend in braces from start to finish is about 18-24 months. During that time, you’ll have to avoid eating certain foods that could damage the appliances or become trapped between the brackets and wires. This is inconvenient, but unavoidable.

No matter if you have braces or not, it’s important to be aware of how some of these foods can adversely affect your teeth. They can leave your enamel vulnerable to erosion, causing harm to your teeth and gum tissue. Braces are meant to help you with your oral health, but they also throw up a few hurdles. They make it harder to speak and eat, and they also make it harder to maintain those good dental habits that you learn from I Song Orthodontics.

While you’re in braces, being good to your teeth and your dental appliances helps to facilitate the process. When you know more about what’s good for your teeth, it helps you to make better, more educated decisions that will provide a good foundation for you to enjoy your natural, sparkling set of teeth for years to come.

Keep in mind that your braces can be damaged from one wrong bite. This can compromise your entire orthodontic treatment, so make sure that you are careful and smart about what you eat.

Make sure to avoid the following foods:

Hard Foods

Try to avoid foods like almonds, jawbreakers, pizza crusts, crispy chips, raw carrots, anything that is going to require more force from your jaw to bite through. Chowing down on hard foods can disrupt your orthodontics, damaging important wires and brackets. Instead of snacking on peanut brittle, opt for soft serve; your teeth will thank you in the end. Make sure that after you eat, you keep up a strong brushing and flossing routine.

Tough Meat

Snacks like beef jerky and other dehydrated meats can loosen the wires and brackets of your braces. Avoid eating tough steaks as well: any sort of food that is going to be cumbersome to eat and require a lot of force from your jaw. You don’t want to be putting undue pressure on your orthodontics.

Sticky Foods

Taffy is a no go. So are other candies, especially candy that is high in sugar or foods that come with a crunch. Avoid potato chips, and certainly avoid peanut brittle. Do not chew on candy that you are meant to suck on. You’ll want to avoid hard candy like that at all cost anyway, as well as anything that can get stuck in your brackets and wires, which will cause them to undergo stress and possibly even loosen. Protect your orthodontics every step of the way. Gum is another thing you should avoid. Instead, opt for a sugar-free breath mint.

Don’t Chew on Inedibles!

This includes pens. Make sure that you don’t bite your fingernails or chew on other hard objects. Stay away from chewing on ice, too, which can also loosen your brackets and wires. Ice is one of the most common culprits when it comes to damaged braces. You may be tempted to use ice for pain relief, and it can soothe sore spots on your teeth and gums, but make sure that you’re not chewing on it. Instead, apply it from the outside of the cheek. A bag of frozen peas works nicely.

Food You Can Eat While You Have Braces

I Song Orthodontics doesn’t want to ruin your party, so we thought we’d also list some foods that you can go ahead and indulge in.

Soft Fruits and Veggies

Steam your vegetables, if possible. Grapefruits, nectarines, kiwi, avocado, tangerines, ripe peaches, and a number of other fruits and softer greens are better for your orthodontics. It might be an adjustment if you’re on a raw vegetable diet, but it’s better for your dental investment to avoid hard foods like carrots or even celery.

Eat Healthy Dairy

Yogurt can be high in probiotics and in some cases will add much-needed protein to your diet (think Greek yogurt). Cheese can also be a healthier option when you go with cheeses that aren’t made from animal proteins.

Eat Soft Meats When Possible

Eating tender, roasted chicken is easier on your teeth than a well-done steak. Turkey and meatloaf can often be tender as well. Lunch meat, seafood, and certain types of sushi and sashimi can be welcome alternatives as well.

Eat Desserts!

Again, you’ve earned it. Having braces is not easy, but you can reward yourself for your commitment with pudding, ice cream, frozen yogurt, applesauce, smoothies, and a number of other soft treats. We figure we don’t have to twist your arm too hard on this one. But do make sure that you brush your teeth between meals and after snacks, especially those that are sugar-heavy. It’s important to stay on top of your oral health game even when rewarding yourself.

We hope that you’ve found our dietary advice helpful. Braces may hinder you in some ways, but they can also be the catalyst you need for setting the foundation for good oral health, which also leads to good overall health. While you undergo braces treatment, take the opportunity to make your diet healthier, so that when the braces come off, you aren’t tempted anymore by the thought of hard, sugary candies. Braces are an investment in your future, and the dietary changes you make when you have braces can be part of that investment.

Make sure you schedule your routine visits and checkups with I Song Orthodontics. We’ll give you all the guidance you need in your journey to achieving the smile you’ve always wanted.