Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics provides braces and other orthodontic services in Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. To learn more, contact us today and schedule your appointment.

The Importance of Careful Eating With Braces

Braces are an effective way to straighten your teeth and correct bite misalignment. Advancements in technology have made them more comfortable and compact so that they cause less irritation and interference in your daily life. Even so, it is important to be careful what and how you eat to prevent damage to your braces. 

Biting into and chewing hard foods (and items that are not food) can cause brackets to come off and wires to bend, break, or detach. This can cause delays in your treatment if not corrected promptly.

What NOT to Eat With Braces

Try to avoid foods that are particularly hard, chewy, crunchy or sticky. These types of foods can loosen, bend, or even break your brackets or appliances.

The vast majority of time, if you’re careful, problems won’t develop with your braces. If issues do develop, additional guidance will be given to avoid them in the future.

Things to Avoid:

  • Chewing on pens, pencils, an non-food items
  • Ice Cubes
  • Hard Candies
  • Popcorn
  • Chewing Gum

Try to choose softer foods, and cut your foods into smaller pieces before eating rather than trying to bite through them. Chop whole fruits such as apples or pears into bite-sized pieces before eating, and please avoid chewing gum and chewing on ice.

After eating, always check your braces for any loose or broken appliances. If you find any problems, please give our office a call so that we can make any needed adjustments.

Common Braces Problems and What to Do

The following problems can occur between appointments: 

  • Loose or detached bracket. Brackets can sometimes pop off of the teeth, usually due to chewing or biting something. It can also occur due to shifting teeth even if you’re eating carefully. 
  • Bent archwire. The archwire is the long wire that connects all of the brackets. This wire can become bent from eating the wrong foods or chewing ice or other objects. A bent archwire can cause the teeth to shift incorrectly and delay or reverse treatment progress. 
  • Detached archwire. The archwire can become detached from one or more brackets if the ties break, again from eating or chewing on things you shouldn’t. 
  • Protruding wires causing irritation. A wire can shift or bend so that it is poking the soft tissues of your mouth. This can occur as the teeth shift due to treatment or from eating something you shouldn’t. 

If any of the above, or other problems, occur with your braces, please contact us immediately and we will get you in for an appointment as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do anything to fix my braces myself?

If there is damage to your braces we ask that you come to us rather than trying to fix the problem yourself. In cases of a poking wire you can sometimes bend it down with a pencil eraser or place wax over until your next appointment.

Why does popcorn need to be avoided with braces?

While fully popped popcorn kernels are relatively soft, the kernels can get stuck under brackets and bands and cause pain. Always avoid chewing on unpopped kernels because they are extremely hard and can cause damage.

Can I still eat crunchy vegetables and fruits?

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a well balanced diet. In order to eat crunchy fruits and vegetables, cut them into bite sized pieces and chew them with your back teeth rather than biting into larger pieces.

Is sugarless chewing gum ok to chew with braces?

Although sugarless chewing gum is less sticky and supposedly will not stick to dental work, it is still better to avoid chewing gum altogether. Gum can easily get stuck and wrapped around brackets. It also becomes harder the longer you chew it and could eventually cause damage to your braces.

For more information or if you have a problem with your braces, contact us today and schedule an appointment.