November 21st, 2019
Foods to Avoid with Metal Braces
Now that you have metal braces, there are a few lifestyle adjustments you will need to make — and what you eat is one of the most important! At CFSS Braces, our orthodontic team is all about making sure your treatment is comfortable, efficient and effective. We want to work with our patients to ensure you take good care of your teeth and braces during your orthodontic treatment. Even though your braces are strong, you’ll want to be careful not to damage them, which could delay your treatment. Here’s our best advice on the types and specific foods you should avoid and foods that are a-okay to eat with metal braces!
Eating with Metal Braces
While it’s great that you don’t have to worry about removing or cleaning Invisalign aligners, with metal braces there are some dietary modifications that you’ll want to make in order to protect your braces and ensure that your treatment progresses smoothly. Why can’t you eat what you want with braces? Certain foods can damage braces components like the rubber bands, wires, or even the bracket itself. Generally, avoid all foods that are overly hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy. Even though the stainless steel brackets are strong, the thin wire that connects them (called the arch-wire) isn’t as strong and can be damaged. Soft foods are recommended for those who wear braces because they are gentler on braces hardware. And don’t worry, there are still many tasty soft foods that you can eat!
Foods to Avoid with Braces
Below are the types of foods you should avoid to prevent damage to your braces.
Avoid hard & crunchy foods! If you bite down on something hard or crunchy while you have braces, you risk bending the arch-wire or even snapping a bracket right off your tooth because they can’t withstand the pressure needed to bite into that piece of food. Some examples of hard or crunchy foods you should avoid are:
- Hard candy
- Popcorn (due to the kernels)
- Hard chocolate bars
- Hard cookies or crackers
- Whole apples & carrots (cut them into pieces first)
- Hard French bread crust and rolls
- Corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob before eating)
- Thick tortilla chips or hard taco shells
- Ribs and chicken wings
- Chewable vitamins (hard)
Avoid sticky & chewy foods! When you eat foods that are sticky and tougher to chew, it can apply a surprisingly high amount of force on your teeth and braces. As you chew on sticky foods, your jaw and teeth need to continuously work hard and pull apart that sticky substance. Unfortunately, all of that force may be no match for the cement holding on your brackets and could pull them off. Avoid these foods:
- Sticky candy such as caramels, Sugar Daddies, Starbursts, caramel apples, Sugar Babies, licorice, toffee, Tootsie Rolls, Now and Laters
- Sticky or chewy candy bars
- Thick bagels
- Thick pizza crust
- Large, hard pretzels
- Chewable vitamins (soft)
Foods You Can Eat With Metal Braces
Now for the good news! There is a long list of foods that are perfectly fine to eat with your new metal braces. In fact, there are times (especially after your braces adjustment appointments) that you may prefer some of these softer, cooler foods! Foods that are safe to eat include dairy products, bread, meat & poultry, seafood, soft pasta, cake, and tons more.
What To Do If You Break Your Braces
Even when following these food warnings, accidents may happen. If you do find that you’ve damaged a bracket or wire or if wires or bands on your braces come loose — for any reason — give your nearest CFSS Braces office location a call and let us know. We’ll likely need to schedule an appointment for you, take a look at the broken part of the appliance and either repair or install a replacement. We also have emergency care procedures in place, so don’t hesitate to give our North Syracuse, Fulton or Fayetteville office a call right away.
Your North Syracuse, Fulton and Fayetteville Orthodontists Are Here To Help!
Have a question on what you should or shouldn’t eat? Don’t hesitate to give your local CFSS Braces office a call at (315) 458-0020 and ask! Our orthodontic team and friendly staff are here to help make your orthodontic experience a pleasant one! Just remember, damaged metal braces can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take good care of them and follow your orthodontist’s instructions. You’ll be back to eating all your favorite foods in no time at all and showing off your new, sparkling smile!