Once your braces are removed and you see the wonderful things they’ve done for your teeth, all the suffering seems worth it. However, the process is not always as enjoyable. While it may pain you to eliminate some of your favorite foods, doing so will ensure both the structural integrity of your braces and the health of your teeth. You’ll probably find that there is a whole grocery list of things you’ll want to avoid eating, but here are five of the most commonly eaten foods you'll have to skip at mealtime.
The movie theater experience just isn’t the same when you’re wearing braces. Kernels have the potential to get stuck in teeth anyways, and when you add braces to the mix, you’re simply giving the popcorn more nooks and crannies to hide in. When those renegade pieces begin to decompose, they can lead to all sorts of problems like infection, cavities, or gum disease. Save yourself the medical hassle by avoiding popcorn altogether.
Regardless of the specific confections you use to satisfy your sweet tooth, chances are they will not be kind to your braces. Chewy, gummy candy has the potential to loosen your brackets, and hard candies can bend wires and get stuck in the most inconvenient places. As with popcorn, any candy bits that remain on your braces can quickly and easily begin to cause tooth decay.
While super-crunchy varieties such as tortilla chips are the worst offenders, it’s best to avoid them all. Chips are especially prone to sticking where they shouldn’t, causing all sorts of tooth and gum health complications. In addition to this, chips are also able of weakening the resin that holds your brackets to your teeth—which spells more orthodontist bills for you.
- Citrus Fruits
The high acidity of fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges can lead to some awkward discoloration once your braces are removed. The parts of your teeth that are not covered by brackets will be lightened due to exposure to these citrus fruits, while the parts covered remain the same color. When the brackets are removed, you may end up with two-toned teeth.
This should be a no-brainer, but people still continue to think that they are the exception to the rule. It’s a sticky mess, and like other gummy candies, it has the potential loosen your brackets. Some people have found that they have luck with sugar-free gum, but it’s best to play it safe and avoid all varieties.