If you or your child has recently had or is contemplating getting braces, you might be curious about caring for them. While your orthodontist may provide some dietary guidelines after the braces are fitted, the overall impact on your daily life doesn't have to be drastic.
However, certain practices need to be observed when it comes to eating with braces. One of the commonly raised concerns revolves around a favorite treat for many children—candy.
It's crucial to seek guidance from your orthodontist regarding foods to steer clear of while the braces are at work aligning your teeth. To make the post-braces experience as smooth as possible, consider the following do's and don'ts.
Don'ts for Candy and Wearing Braces
Maintaining your oral health while wearing braces involves making mindful choices about the foods you consume, especially when it comes to candy. Certain types of candy can pose challenges for both the braces and your overall dental well-being. Here's a guide on the candy varieties to steer clear of while wearing braces:
- Chewing Gum: The repetitive chewing action of gum can stick to and bend the wires/loosen braces over time, causing issues with the braces' functionality and resulting in increased overall treatment length.
- Caramel: Sticky candies like caramel also have the potential to dislodge wires and damage braces and result in increased overall treatment length.
- Taffy: Similar to caramel, taffy adheres to the surfaces of the appliances, posing a threat to brackets, bands and wires.
- Harder Chews (Nuts, Certain Fruits and Dark Chocolate): While less sticky than caramel or taffy, nuts, certain fruits such as Apples and dark chocolate can still cause issues by debonding the brackets, or splitting the stainless steel bands or dislodging the wires.
- Hard Candies, Suckers, and Lollipops: Candies that are sucked on will stick to the braces and wires and could potentially loosen or dislodge the braces. In addition, there is also a tendency to CHEW them at some point which can easily dislodge, split or debond the braces, too.
- Both chewy and hard candies present challenges for individuals with braces. Beyond the risk of physical damage to the hardware, the sugary nature of these candies can contribute to dental issues. Lingering sugar particles caught in the braces create an environment conducive to cavity formation.
Do's for Candy and Braces
While wearing braces, it's essential to be proactive in avoiding candies. It's best to opt for orthodontic-friendly alternatives such as milk chocolates or ice cream without additives and maintain a diligent oral hygiene routine. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups will help ensure a smooth orthodontic journey and promote a healthy, cavity-free smile.
Frequently Asked Questions About Braces
What is the Best Age to See an Orthodontist?
For anyone wishing to improve the look and feel of your smile, any age can be a great time to see the orthodontist. However, The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist at about age seven. But keep in mind that orthodontic treatment isn't exclusive to children and teens. Adults can also enjoy its benefits.
How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth if You Have Braces?
With braces, you should brush your teeth a minimum of two times a day so your teeth, gums, and mouth stay healthy and clean. Brushing regularly helps remove any food or bacteria that can get caught between your braces.
Daily flossing is also important to get between your braces where your toothbrush can't reach. Your dentist can show you how to brush and floss properly once your braces are applied. In my practice, I recommend flossing with a Waterpik or Sonicare Waterjet as opposed to string floss.
Ready to Explore Your Orthodontic Treatment Options in Greenwich, CT? Contact Us Today
At Garrick F. Wong DMD Orthodontics, our team is ready to help you achieve the smile you have always wanted. Whether you are interested in traditional braces or Invisalign, we can help. Give us a call at 203-625-9888 to schedule your appointment today.