Foods You Shouldn't Be Eating If You Have Braces

Getting braces comes with many life changes. One of those is your diet. In order to keep your braces and your teeth healthy, you should avoid the following foods.

When you first get braces and on days that they get tightened, your mouth will probably be sensitive and sore. On these days, it's best to eat soft foods that are easy to chew (via Healthline). This can include things like oatmeal, soup, mashed potatoes, and pasta. You may also want to avoid overly hot, cold, or spicy foods that may irritate your mouth while it is still adjusting to your braces.

Once you've had braces for a while and your mouth is no longer sensitive to them, there are still many foods you should avoid eating. The wires and bands of your braces can be damaged by foods that are sticky or crunchy. This includes things like hard candy, gum, pizza crust, popcorn, pretzels, and hard fruits and vegetables. You should avoid biting into hard foods with your front teeth, as this can pull on your brackets and damage them. Cutting tough and hard foods into small pieces before eating can keep your braces safe.

Oral hygiene is especially important with braces

A healthy diet is important for your teeth whether you have braces or not. Foods that contain high amounts of sugar can eat away at the enamel on your teeth and lead to cavities (via Everyday Health). Daily brushing and flossing can keep your teeth clean, but limiting those types of foods in the first place will help you avoid tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.

According to Verywell Health, your teeth are more vulnerable to enamel decay when you have braces. This is because food can get caught in the spaces between your braces and your teeth and can sit for long periods of time. Thoroughly cleaning your braces is more difficult than brushing your teeth normally, which makes it more likely that sugar will sit on your teeth and turn into cavity-causing bacteria.

People with braces should eat candy and sweets sparingly. If you have braces, you should also avoid products that often contain added sugar like yogurt, white bread, and baked goods. You can reduce your risk of tooth decay and cavities by thoroughly cleaning your teeth and braces at least twice a day.