Braces Tips: What to Eat and What to Avoid

When you get braces, your dentist will go over all kinds of dos, don’ts, and special care tips with you. One of the most important lessons you will learn is which foods you should eat and which you should avoid. Follow your dentist’s advice when it comes to food selections carefully. Eating the right foods can boost your dental health, but eating the wrong foods could break your braces and set back your treatment. Here are the foods your dentist would like to see on—and off—the menu when you have braces.

Don’t Eat: Sticky Foods
Sticky foods are the enemy of braces. Sticky substances are tough on brackets and wires—they will stick to your braces and may even cause a bracket to come off or a wire to break. In addition, sticky foods tend to be sugary. When sugary foods get stuck to your teeth, they sit there and eat away at your tooth enamel. That means you’re more likely to get cavities, which can interfere with your braces treatment.

Do Eat: Low-Fat Dairy and Protein
Low-fat dairy and protein are easy and safe to eat when you have braces. They also help keep your teeth strong. Try eating chicken, turkey, lean beef, and fish, and incorporate low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk into your diet. Because these foods are soft and easy to chew, eating them with braces is not an issue.

Don’t Eat: Hard, Crunchy Foods
Hard, crunchy foods like carrots, apples, and nuts can be extremely hard on braces. Many people break a bracket or wire by eating these very foods. However, since so many healthy foods are also crunchy, you should try to work around the danger. Cut crunchy foods into small pieces so they are easier to eat when you’re wearing braces.

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