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How Braces Affect Your Diet

Braces are a life-changing addition, in more ways than one. They turn your smile upside down, from crooked to straight. But they also affect the things you eat. For the length of your treatment, you’ll need to be careful about certain foods, and avoid others entirely. Despite the forces they exert on your teeth, braces are a delicate product. The elastics and archwires cannot be overstressed, and the brackets are difficult to clean.

As a result, you’ll need to step up your oral care routine. Brushing on the go is a must. This means composing a dental care kit, and taking it with you every day. Components of your dental kit can vary but should include at minimum a travel toothbrush and toothpaste. Because of the easy way food adheres to braces, you’ll need to brush after every meal. It’s always advisable to familiarize yourself with the best bathroom options on your regular route to facilitate the most hygienic brushing experience.

Certain foods will need to be cut out, most of them on the basis of being too sticky or crunchy. These include gummy bears, caramel, snack chips, hard taco shells, croutons, pizza crust, and most candies. In the case of pizza crust, this doesn’t mean you can’t eat pizza. But you’ll need to cut up the pizza slice into small bites.

Cutting is recommended for the following list of foods that are edible with braces, but cautionary: raw fruits, raw vegetables, bagels, chicken wings, and corn on the cob. Make sure to consume these in manageable pieces.

Everyone’s diet varies, and there are still plenty of foods you can eat without restriction. Recommended items for braces patients include steamed vegetables, soft pretzels, and lots of dairy.

Snack recommendations, especially for the on-the-go patient, include thinly sliced apples dipped in yogurt, soft fruit like kiwis or strawberry, hummus, and cheese with crackers.

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