Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

One key aspect of having braces is managing your diet, which should still be an enjoyable experience regardless! The good news is that there are plenty of food options available while wearing braces, so Innovative Orthodontics is here to answer the question: Which foods should I avoid to prevent damage to braces?

Diet is Key

In addition to nutritional considerations, selecting braces-friendly foods is crucial, as damage can be inconvenient and costly over time. Moreover, it can extend the duration of your treatment, which might already be long, depending on your condition. Braces include several components, such as wires and brackets, which are particularly susceptible to damage.

The Wrong Way

We’ll be covering both bad diet options and good diet options for you today as recommended by Dr. Waters and Dr. Clayton, but let’s start with the bad so you know what to avoid: 

  • Chewy Foods: 
    • Bagels and Dinner Rolls: Though they may seem harmless, tough breads can be difficult to bite into and cause strain on your braces.
  • Hard/Crunchy Foods:
    • Hard Candy: Biting down on hard candy can damage your braces.
    • Popcorn: Kernels can get stuck in your braces, leading to discomfort and potential damage.
    • Chips: These can clump together when chewed and are especially hard to clean from teeth and back molars.
    • Raw Vegetables: Carrots and similar veggies should be cut into small, manageable pieces or avoided altogether.
  • Sticky Foods:
    • Caramel and Toffee: These can stick to brackets and wires, making them difficult to clean off.
    • Gum: It can become tangled around the components and be hard to remove.
    • Gummy Candies: These can pull on your braces and dislodge brackets.
  • Sugary Foods:
    • Sugary Snacks and Drinks: These can lead to plaque buildup and cavities around the brackets and wires. Sodas and sweetened juices, which are often high in acids as well as sugar, can erode enamel. Whether or not you have braces, it’s wise to monitor your sugar intake for your teeth’s sake.
  • Other Foods:
    • Tough Meats: Steak or beef jerky can easily loosen components.
    • Large Bites of Food: Even if the food seems safe, taking large bites can be problematic. Smaller bites are always easier to consume and avoid putting excess pressure on your braces.
    • Pizza Crust: This common favorite can be tough on braces. Consider skipping the crust to avoid issues.

Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

The Right Way

Now, let’s explore the smarter route. Innovative Orthodontics wants to emphasize that you can maintain a balanced, delicious diet while wearing braces! Be mindful of any intolerances or allergies on this list, but note that there are often great substitutes available that retain a similar texture.

  • Soft Fruits:
    • Bananas: Easy to chew and packed with nutrients.
    • Berries: Naturally bite-sized; blueberries and raspberries are soft and healthy options.
    • Melons: Honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon can be cut into cubes or balls. They’re hydrating and great for warmer weather.
    • Applesauce: A great way for apple lovers to enjoy apples without risking damage.
  • Soft Vegetables:
    • Steamed or Cooked Veggies: Carrots, broccoli, potatoes, spinach, and green beans are all great when softened.
    • Avocado: Naturally creamy and good for your health.
  • Soft Proteins:
    • Eggs: Versatile in any form—scrambled, fried, boiled, poached.
    • Fish: Soft and flaky varieties like salmon, cod, and tilapia.
    • Chicken: Boiled or baked, and shredded chicken is easier to consume.
    • Tofu: Super soft and dynamic in various dishes.
  • Beans, Grains, Pasta:
    • Cooked Pasta: Can be made flavorful with various sauces or added proteins.
    • Rice: An easy, vital component of meals worldwide. Try different varieties for flavor.
    • Soft Bread: Great in sandwiches or toasted.
  • Dairy/Non-Dairy Products:
    • Yogurt: Versatile and can be dressed in many different flavors.
    • Soft Cheeses: Brie, goat cheese, or cottage cheese can be delicious in many dishes.
    • Dairy: Provides essential calcium for your bones and teeth.
  • Soups and Stews:
    • Broth-Based Soups: Chicken noodles, vegetables, and minestrone are all easy on braces.
    • Creamy Soups: Tomato, potato, and pumpkin soup are filling and delicious.
    • Stews: Great for softening meat and hard vegetables, making them very tender.
  • Sweets and Snacks:
    • Smoothies: Naturally sweet and can include fruits, veggies, and yogurt.
    • Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt: Yummy choices, though in moderation due to high sugar content.
    • Soft Baked Goods: Muffins, pancakes, or cupcakes are easy to eat but should be enjoyed only occasionally.

Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

Smart and Delicious

Our team at Innovative Orthodontics wants to ensure life with braces is as smooth and enjoyable as possible for our patients, including being happy with their food choices! Be sure to reach out to our Savannah, Rincon, or Pooler offices for any further questions.