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Foods to Avoid with Braces


Dr. Dougherty using checking a patient's braces at Dougherty Orthodontics Like most orthodontic appliances, traditional metal braces require special care and maintenance. After you or your child receives braces, we here at Dougherty Orthodontics will detail the proper care instructions, including which foods to avoid. Implementing an appropriate diet can help you avoid several inconvenient issues.

Eating with Braces


Braces are perhaps the most effective way to achieve a straight, beautiful, and healthy smile. However, eating with braces may prove challenging while you adjust to life with your new appliance. It may take a bit of practice and patience to chew certain foods and avoid potential problems. The first way to make eating with braces easier is to cut up food into smaller pieces and use your posterior (back) teeth. The next thing you should do is adhere to a specific diet.

Foods to Avoid


There are certain foods you should avoid to prevent problems with your braces. The brackets, ligatures, and metal wires are susceptible to damage when eating sticky, hard, or chewy foods. We typically suggest sticking to a diet that primarily consists of softer foods, as they are more gentle on your appliance.

Foods to avoid while wearing braces include:
•  Sticky foods like caramels, gum, and other candies
•  Hard foods like nuts, chips, and raw vegetables
•  Chewy foods like bagels, licorice, and bread rolls
•  Foods you have to bite into like apples, carrots, and corn on the cob
•  Crunchy items like popcorn kernels and ice

Even after your braces are removed, a nutritious diet is an important part of your oral health. The bacteria in our mouths love to feed on sugars, starches, and other simple carbohydrates. As they feed, they produce acids that attack the enamel and cause cavities. Maintaining a proper diet gives bacteria less opportunity to create problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Loose or Broken Wire


If the foods you eat do cause damage to your braces, be sure to call us as soon as possible. Never attempt to fix a damaged appliance before consulting with us first. In most cases, you will need to schedule an immediate appointment so Harry L. Dougherty DDS, MS can repair the damage.

A loose or broken wire, which can stick out and cause irritation, is a common problem with braces. The best thing to do is to use orthodontic wax to blunt the wire before your appointment with us.

Loose or Broken Bracket


Certain foods can also result in loose, broken, or displaced brackets. The brackets are bonded to the front of your teeth and allow the wire to move them to the appropriate position slowly. For this reason, a damaged bracket should be addressed immediately. Fixing the bracket as soon as possible get your braces back on track without extending your treatment length. If a bracket does fall off, be careful to avoid swallowing the component.

Schedule an Appointment


If you or your child has experienced a problem with braces, be sure to see us as soon as possible. Call (747) 264-5164 to schedule an immediate appointment now!

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