ONE OF THE LEAST fun aspects of orthodontic treatment is the banned foods list. No more movie popcorn, no more chewing gum, etc. But we don’t just ban these foods to be mean; they pose a serious threat to the complex orthodontic appliance that is there to gradually straighten a patient’s smile.
Crunchy or Sticky Foods are Bracket Kryptonite
All it takes is one poorly angled bite on something hard or pulling back off of something sticky to pop a bracket off a tooth. Every time that happens, it pushes back the eagerly-awaited Braces Off Day. This is why we urge our patients to avoid popcorn, nuts, ice, chewing gum, hard candy, gummy candy, pizza crust, bagels and other hard rolls, whole fruits like apples, hard crackers, pretzels, and chips.
Sugar: Always Bad for Teeth
Those are the ones that are actively risky to braces, but others contribute to problems too, like anything with a lot of sugar in it. It’s harder to keep plaque at bay with braces on, and eating or drinking large amounts of sugar can lead to bleached patches around the brackets and stains after the braces come off. It’s easiest to cut out most of the sugar.
Patients can swap puffcorn for popcorn, pudding for caramel, tortilla chips for pita bread, and slice up their apples. If a bracket does come loose, come see us! We’re rooting for our patients!