Thursday, March 23, 2023

Eating With Orthodontic Appliances

Certain dietary habits are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances, as well as increase the risk of dental disease. Dr. Medina’s aim is to achieve treatment goals with as few disturbances as possible due to appliance breakage, and to minimize the side effects of poor diet choices.

Remember: Teeth move best in a healthy environment and in individuals who maintain excellent overall health. Make sure you choose a well-balanced diet.

When taking care of braces or an orthodontic appliance, softer foods are recommended…especially after an appointment when your mouth may be sore. Generally, if you have to question whether you can eat something with your appliance, it is better to avoid it altogether. Additionally, do not chew on non-food items such as pens, pencils, or fingernails.

Braces are attached to your teeth with a special orthodontic glue or cement that will withstand the normal forces of eating. However, brackets can be dislodged, and wires can be bent or broken after eating certain foods.

Foods and drinks that may cause cavities should be restricted while you are wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances. Sticky foods are to be avoided because of the increased risk of dental decay and appliance breakage. Between-meal snacks should be confined to foods that lack refined sugar and should be followed by brushing or vigorous rinsing.

While you will have to avoid certain foods if you have orthodontic appliances, there are still plenty of healthy and delicious food options available to you. Some of the best foods to eat if you have orthodontic appliances are:

  • Yogurt 
  • Bananas, grapes, oranges, strawberries, and other fruits without pits 
  • Light crackers or cookies 
  • Cheese 
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Peanut butter and jelly 
  • Ravioli, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and other noodle dishes

Excellent oral hygiene with an orthodontic appliance, like braces or Invisalign clear aligners, is essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. The right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss will make it easier to perform proper orthodontic care.

For most situations, common sense will tell you the specific foods to avoid. If you are unsure, please ask one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members to make sure that a food in question is safe to eat.

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