Chances are that you have seen or know of someone with braces. You may know they can’t eat certain things or do certain activities, like chew their fingernails. But really, no one should chew their fingernails anyway. But what else is there to know about braces? The answer, plenty!
What are braces?
Braces are devices that are used to align and strengthen a patient’s teeth. Sometimes, a patient’s bite can be misaligned and braces help center things so the patient can eat right again. They also help with a great, straight smile.
A qualified orthodontist, like those of braces Gainesville experts, installs them after a few pre-braces visits with patients. The first is to answer all of their questions and concerns about getting braces and to determine if braces are right for the patient. Then, if braces are determined the correct course of action, x-rays, molds and impressions are made in the patient’s next appointment. This gives the orthodontist a clear picture of a patient’s mouth and helps make the application of the braces run smoothly, which happens during the next visit.
The length of which the patient will need braces depends upon the severity of the issue. The average time for a patient to be in braces is roughly a year. But it can go from six months to two or three years for some patients.
Why do patients wearing braces have to be careful with what they eat?
The main reason patients have to be careful with everything they put into their mouth is if the food is too sticky or hard, it can destroy the braces. It may pull the brackets away from their teeth and cause them to break. This could lead to more visits to the orthodontist and further complications, resulting in the patient needing braces for an even longer period of time.
Foods that are safe to eat with braces:
In most cases, a patient’s diet will need to be altered. This can be tough at first but it will not last forever. The more a patient sticks to the advice of their orthodontist and only eats good foods for braces, the smoother the process will go. So what are some of foods patients can eat?
- Dairy: Mostly anything in the dairy section will not harm your braces. Soft cheese, pudding, and milk based drinks.
- Vegetables: You can still get your veggies in. Potatoes and beans are great examples.
- Fruits: Many fruits are okay to eat. Apples, Bananas, and applesauce included. Again, something like apples are only okay if you use caution, cut them into small pieces and eat small bites.
- Meat: A few meat can still be consumed with braces. Soft cooked chicken, meatloaf, salmon, and tuna will do.
- Snacks: While not always good for you, some snacks can be eaten as well, like ice cream, milkshakes and smoothies. Just makes sure there are no nuts in any of them.
The main aspect a patient should be looking for when it comes to good foods for braces is texture. If it can be easily chewed and/or swallowed, like bananas or potatoes, then it is generally safe. If you really have to chew it like nuts, then avoid it at all costs.
Foods that will damage braces:
Many aren’t happy to find out the foods they can’t eat with braces, but keep in mind that this is not forever. While a patient’s cravings may still be there, by avoiding these foods their cravings will be fulfilled a lot sooner than if they try to eat them and mess up their braces.
- Nuts: Never attempt to eat any kind of nuts.
- Gum: It will stick and could pull off braces.
- Hard candies: The word “hard” says it all.
- Popcorn: Avoid it even if a movie calls for it.
- Chewy candy of any kind: Examples are gummy bears, taffy, caramel and chocolate bars.
- Biting foods: Examples include corn on the cob, full apples, and crunchy chips.
- Others: While not food, ice, pen ends, pencil ends, finger nails and anything else hard a patient finds themselves chewing on should be avoided.
The general rule a patient will find with the foods they can’t eat with braces is that if they have to bite down hard to eat it, then it should not be eaten. While changing their diet is usually not something anyone looks forward to, patients can rest assured that by following these rules they will be back to eating what they want a lot sooner and have a great smile as well.
But I can’t do it:
In some cases, patients may not be able to change their diet, whether that is due to allergies or some other factors. That is when you go to the professionals. Wilsons Braces in Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Cleveland have orthodontists ready to help you in whatever way they can. Call today to set up an appointment and get all your questions answered. And as seen below, there are always modifications that can be made to a diet.
Smaller the better:
There are a few food that should never be eaten how they are, but by modifying the way a patient eats these foods, they can still be eaten in small doses.
- Breads: Make sure the bread you choose isn’t very chewy and only take tiny bites.
- Apples and carrots: As said above, they can only be eaten if modified. Tiny bites of each and chop or mash them up first.
- Chips: If you find a chip that isn’t super crunchy, take tiny bites and eat one at a time.
- Corn on the cob: Cut off the corn and throw away the cob.
- Soda and sugary drinks: While your braces will likely be fine, they can cause tooth decay and braces can increase the risk of cavities from too much sugar intake. So avoid whenever possible.
Take care of your braces and be aware of the foods you can’t eat with braces. That way, you’ll be back to eating how you like sooner, have a great smile and be ready to take on the world in no time at all. Call us now if you need more information!
Life with Braces