Right before you get braces, it’s pretty common to go into panic mode worrying about all the foods you aren’t supposed to eat. However, I want to reassure you that while there are some things we recommend avoiding, life as you know it does not get put on hold for 18 months (or however long we say your treatment will be).
First, let’s talk about why there is even a “Foods to Avoid” list to begin with. Brackets- the little squares that are temporarily glued onto your teeth while you are in treatment- are, as I just stated, meant to be temporary. As a result, if you chew on something that is super hard and it hits the bracket, it will knock it off. When a bracket comes off, your tooth can move out of alignment, which then in turn may extend your treatment time.
Humans have amazingly strong jaws, with an average bite force of about 162 psi (pounds per square inch)! Combine those jaws with the following things, and you are asking for a few extra months in braces 🤪:
Ice; chewing on foreign objects- pencils, fingernails; hard candies; sticky, chewy candies and snacks; hard breads; hard snacks- chips, nuts; popcorn; sugary drinks (this is a cavity thing, not because Mountain Dew is crunchy…)
(See our complete list here.)
The good news? Ice cream and Reese’s cups, my top two desserts, are braces-approved! In addition, we obviously don’t want you to avoid crunchy healthy foods like apples and carrots, so as long as you cut them up into small pieces, you can still eat them.
If you are still truly concerned about the foods we recommend avoiding during braces, ask about Invisalign! Because you take out the aligners when you eat and drink, there are no food restrictions with Invisalign.
Comment below with any questions!