Neal Smiles Orthodontics Blog Page

Friday, January 25, 2013

Foods that Are Safe for Braces

Orthodontic braces are used to straighten the teeth, which not only creates a more pleasing appearance, but also helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Braces are only effective when they are properly cared for, however. Certain foods, for example, are better suited for individuals who have braces, as opposed to hard and sticky foods that can cause damage. So, what types of foods should you or your kids eat to protect dental appliances?

Post-Tightening Foods

As braces begin to adjust the alignment of the teeth, we will periodically change the wires to continue the alignment process. After your adjustment appointments, the teeth may be sore and sensitive to certain foods. During this time, it is best to eat soft foods and take medications like Tylenol or Children's Tylenol, Advil or Ibuprofen as needed. Examples include:
  • Smoothies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soup
  • Ice cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt and Pudding
  • Pancakes, oatmeal and soft cereals for breakfast
  • Pasta
Foods to Avoid

According to the American Dental Association, anyone who wears braces – whether fixed or removable like Invisalign – should avoid excessive snacking and should aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is also important to avoid foods that could cause damage to the braces, such as:
  • Hard candies
  • Gum
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Raw veggies: be sure to slice into smaller sizes to prevent excessive pressure on braces. Also, be sure to cut the corn off the cob.
  • Certain fruits, like apples need to be cut into even smaller slices.
  • Meats: cut all meat off the bone to prevent biting into the bone with front teeth.

Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth, but it can also cause discoloration. It is also advised to continue regular hygiene appointments, so that your oral health is maintained and we have a bright, healthy smile once we complete the orthodontic treatment!

Have more questions about orthodontic treatment? Dr. Michelle Neal and her team are ready to answer all of your questions and help you get the most out of the treatment! Contact our office at (425) 823-1234 or at info@nealsmiles.com

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