You want your braces to go as quickly and as comfortably as possible to your great smile. Keeping the braces on your teeth until the happy day you get them all off is a big part of that. When your smile is looking great, the braces just peel off your teeth. The braces are designed to come off – you wouldn’t want them to be permanent. The wrong kind of pressure can break a brace so you want to be a little careful how and what you eat while you’ve got braces.
Chewing to Keep the Pressure Away from the Braces
I don’t want to give you a bunch of rules. We want your braces to go as quickly and as comfortably as possible for a great smile and we want it to affect your life as little as possible. And the truth is, you can eat almost anything with braces as long as you’re careful.
You can’t eat the same foods in the same way as before your braces. If you do, you’ll peel the braces off the tooth and the glue breaks. Broken braces won’t always slow down your treatment but it’s always a hassle for you. Broken braces can definitely slow things down when it becomes a habit. But it’s not hard to keep your braces glued on your teeth to do their job.
The trick to eating with braces is to keep the pressure between your teeth and away from the braces. You can still enjoy the crunch of popcorn between your teeth – just keep the crunch away from the braces. You do that by eating a few kernels at a time – between your teeth.
Too much pressure on a brace will break the glue. Even something like biting into a softer bun too quickly can peel off a brace, so go a little slower and let the bun soften up as you chew gently at first.
One thing can be a little confusing – a brace will sometimes pop off when you aren’t doing much. Or you may notice a loose brace when you’re brushing your teeth. In these cases the glue was weakened with rougher chewing earlier and a smaller amount of pressure finished the job and the brace came loose.
In other cases a brace will break off while you’re chewing, but you don’t notice it until you’re brushing your teeth. So at the beginning of chewing, keep the food between your teeth and away from the braces and wires and go slowly until the food softens and then you can eat almost anything.
Can You Eat Hard Foods?
Things like hard sticky toffee or chewing on ice are almost impossible unless you’re super careful. Apples and carrots need to be cut up into smaller pieces and chewed slowly at first until they soften up – keep the pressure off your braces!
Skittles and hard candies are a challenge as well. Eat one at a time – slowly – if you can’t stay away from them. Sucking them a bit can help eating things like this, but it’s risky. But if you really love them, I want you to enjoy them, but carefully.
Watch the Sugar!
One more thing on eating. Sugary and starchy foods feed the plaque – the gunky white stuff that does the damage to your teeth and gums. Slurpies, chips, buns and candy make it even more important to brush your teeth well by the gum line.
And acidic drinks like many fruit juices, as well as colas and other sugary drinks, and sour candies can lead to more staining of your teeth. These acidic foods can weaken and stain the enamel. Rinsing with water will help to remove the acid after you eat. Don’t brush your teeth for about 30 minutes or more after an acidic food. You’re just brushing away weakened enamel before it gets a chance to harden again.
Brushing your teeth is best done at least 30 minutes after you eat – so first thing in the morning and just before bed are the best times. Remember you’re removing plaque – not the food.
If you have any questions about eating with braces, just ask us. We want you to be comfy with your braces, as your teeth move to your great smile.