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5 Foods You Shouldn’t Eat With Braces

added on: June 6, 2019
smiling girl with braces

Millions of Americans have braces to help straighten their smiles. The majority of these orthodontic patients are kids or teens. At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we know just how important braces can be for developing smiles. In fact, properly aligned teeth can help with speech, reduce the risk of jaw pain, and make brushing and flossing easier and more effective. But while wearing braces, there are certain foods you shouldn’t eat as they can increase the likelihood of breaking a bracket or wire.

Braces 101

During orthodontic treatment, you may need to make some changes to your child’s diet to protect the braces. Traditional orthodontics, like braces, are fixed to the surface of teeth through a super-tough bond. However, this bond isn’t unbreakable, and certain foods can cause brackets or wires to loosen or snap off. Other things to consider while your child is wearing braces is to limit sugary snacks and drinks, which can lead to decay or discoloration.

Foods to Avoid

One of the most common things you’ll hear your pediatric dentist in Long Island say to anyone with braces is to avoid chewing gum. Gum doesn’t only stick in all the nooks and crannies of the braces but can easily bend wires and shift the teeth’s movement. But chewing gum isn’t the only thing braces-wearers should avoid. Let’s take a look at some of the other top foods your child shouldn’t eat while wearing braces.

  • Sticky Sweets – Similarly to gum, sticky sweets like caramels, taffy, and even lollipops can damage braces.
  • Corn on the Cob – While you don’t need to completely avoid this favorite summer food, you do need to serve it a bit differently. Instead of biting it right of the cob, cut it off and allow your child to enjoy it on a plate.  
  • Hard & Crunchy Goodies – Foods such as carrots, nuts, and even pizza crust are difficult to chew and can snap off a wire or bracket with ease.
  • Chewy Snacks – Things like beef jerky or dried fruit can get stuck in braces, bend wires, and pop off brackets.
  • Popcorn – Even though popcorn isn’t particularly crunchy, they do have hidden kernels that can get wedged into teeth and braces or break them.

Throughout orthodontic treatment, your child may need to avoid some of his favorite treats. But the long-term benefits of a straight smile will be worth it.

If you have questions about braces or other types of orthodontics, call our Long Island pediatric dental office today.