Monday, June 27, 2011

Stouffville Orthodontist Discusses: What Can I Eat with Braces?

Your Stouffville Orthodontist fields a lot of questions about braces.  Many of our patients are concerned with what they can eat while braces are on the teeth.

Here are a couple of quick tips:

-  Do not tear food or chew with your anterior teeth as braces can come off easily this way.
-  Cut food up into smaller pieces and chew food with your molars in the back of your mouth.
-  Avoid foods that are too sticky as they may make your braces more difficult to clean.
-  Take care and get used to your braces on your teeth, so that you give yourself some time to become more aware of the braces on your teeth, and gain more understanding of how to chew to avoid breakage.

There is a common misconception that you cannot eat certain foods during orthodontic treatment.  We advise our patients that this is not true, but that foods may have to be consumed in a different manner.  The reason for this is to avoid breakage of the appliances or getting food lodged into areas that may make it difficult to clean.  For example, if you like ice cubes, you may want to consider sucking on them and allowing them to melt, rather than breaking them with your teeth.  Instead of biting into an apple, cut it into pieces and chew at the back of your mouth.

A couple of years ago we had two patients who were at a birthday party and Child A saw Child B pick up a carrot stick and bite on it with his front teeth.  Child B mentioned to Child A that he didn't think he was allowed to eat carrots like that.  Child A shrugged his shoulders and continued eating.  Child B decided to try, bit into the carrot, and broke off a brace :).

The moral of the story here is that different people may have varying experiences with eating and breakage.  However, in order to make sure treatment stays on time and to avoid the hassle of having to replace brackets, each person must learn how to eat to take care their braces, as it will vary from person to person.

1 comment:

Pamela Waterman said...

So true about different people, different braces. As the author of The Braces Cookbooks, I've had adults come to me and say, when I had braces I could eat anything I wanted. Well, back when every tooth had a full band around it (similar to what goes only onto most people's back molars now), those bands were indeed fairly durable. Today's brackets are far more discreet, just being cemented to the front tooth surface, but they can be less rugged, so parents need to understand the difference.