Forbidden foods when you wear brackets
Brackets are the small components stuck to the front or lingual surface of teeth that help to guide them to the position desired by the orthodontist to achieve a correct placement and bite.
Once the brackets have been fitted, it is important to do everything possible to look after them to guarantee that the treatment is carried out without problems and that the best possible results can be obtained.
The brackets and the arches that hold them among each other can be damaged or become loose with excessively hard or sticky foods; accordingly, it is important to avoid chewing hard food, such as meat, bread or raw vegetables. This means preventing them from coming off since, it this happens, the treatment will inevitably last longer.
You also need to avoid sticky foods, such as sweets and chewing gum, and also food that you have to bite with your teeth, such as apples and sandwiches. It is advisable to cut food into small pieces and to use your molars to chew them.
With sugary food and drinks, there is also a greater risk that food remains will get trapped and plaque will accumulate, which may cause tooth decay.
The bands of the brackets, which are placed to join them to the arch, are usually transparent and can also become stained following the consumption of dark food and drink such as coffee or red wine.
The main foods to avoid are:
- Chewing gum: it is very sticky and can get trapped among the brackets. It is not a very recommendable food when wearing braces, since cleaning them if the chewing gums gets stuck to our brackets can be a nightmare.
- Sticky sweet items: such as toffees and sweets that may pull, loosen or break the brackets. In turn, this type of food usually contains a high amount of sugar, so its consumption is not recommended either, since it is likely to cause tooth decay.
- Whole fruit and vegetables: such as apples or corncobs. It is better to divide, cut or shred this type of food to be able to eat it comfortably without damaging your brackets.
- Green vegetables and hard vegetables: such as carrots, potatoes or broccoli. To eat them, it is advisable to cook, steam boil or eat them in a well- mashed purée.
- Salads: lettuce or corn salad can be difficult to remove from the brackets. Although it is not one of the most prohibited foods on this list, it is advisable, for hygiene reasons, to brush your teeth correctly following their consumption.
- Crunchy bread: crusts or hard bread. Bread may cause our brackets to be damaged or come off. It is better to substitute them with softer bread or to eat crumbs.
- Hard food: such as nuts, hard biscuits and ice cubes. Hard food such as dried fruit, any type of snack or bread, mentioned in the previous point, may damage the brackets and/or dental arch. With respect to ice cream or ice lollies, you can eat them provided you only suck them and do not bite them.
- Fizzy and acidic drinks: including natural fruit juices. Aside from causing tooth decay, these drinks can stain the brackets.
- Boned meat: such as chicken wings and ribs. It is advisable to separate the meat and cut it into small pieces instead of eating it from the bone. Furthermore, on eating meat, bits usually become encrusted between teeth and/or brackets; hence, to eliminate them, it will be advisable to use dental floss or specific orthodontic brushes, as well as routine daily brushing.
- Foods that stain teeth: in particular, porcelain brackets with transparent bands that can become tinged and lose their aesthetic advantage. Foods that stain teeth include different fruit and vegetables with intense colours, such as beetroot, cranberries or cherries, drinks such as wine, coffee, tea or some carbonated drinks and sauces such as soya, curry or Modena vinegar. In turn, when you wear braces, you should avoid smoking, since the nicotine will stain and blacken the braces and have a negative effect on your mouth’s health and hygiene.
- Inedible materials: we must avoid putting objects in our mouth, such as pens or pencils, since unconsciously, we tend to bite them. Also, during the orthodontic period, you must avoid biting your nails.
Lastly, recommended foods during the orthodontic period, especially during the first few days and weeks, include purées or cold or warm soup, cooked food, mature fruit, meat such as chicken, cut into small pieces, or bone-free fish fillets or, if you choose boned fish, take the bones out beforehand.
Hence, during the treatment to straighten the teeth, it is possible that some small adjustments must be made to diet , aimed at looking after the braces and at not compromising their function.