There’s no way to beat around the bush: Braces can be a big chore when it comes to eating, especially during the summer. With all the extra time off of school, it can seem like all you want to do all day is lay around your house, watch television and, of course, snack. Unfortunately, this can pose a problem for teenagers and other people with braces who have to restrict what they eat due to the metal wiring in their mouths. With all this in mind, following are some summer foods to avoid eating if you have braces.
Barbeques can be really dangerous for people with braces. Avoid eating meat on the bone and corn on the cob because both of these things have historically been known to damage braces. However, this doesn’t mean you have to rule out these foods entirely — you can still have these foods, just make sure you’re cutting meat off the bone and cutting corn off the cob.
Although it can be tempting on those hot summer days, you should avoid chomping down on ice and other hard treats that can damage your brackets or wires. If you’re looking for a good treat to cool down with, try having some ice cream or any other soft frozen treat to cool down with instead of ice. Stay away from hard sticky foods and always try to take small, bite-sized pieces.
Another common activity for students on summer vacation is going to the movies. The movies can be a great place to cool off and relax, but you should be wary of popcorn. Popcorn can easily get stuck in your braces and be tricky to remove. The kernels can get stuck in between the wires and your teeth, which can ultimately damage your gums in addition to just feeling uncomfortable or annoying. Also avoid candies, especially Starbursts. As with any season, you should try to avoid really sugary foods because they are bad for your teeth. If you are going to be eating them, just make sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible after finishing your treat.
If you’re going to be attending any sporting events, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t eating sunflower seeds because they can have the same effect as popcorn and become lodged in between your braces and teeth.
You even need to be careful when eating certain fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots. Make sure you cut them into smaller pieces and cut them up carefully before you eat them.
If you’re really having trouble finding foods to eat because you just got your braces on, or you if you just got them tightened and they’re feeling extra sore, following are some foods that are easy to eat and don’t hurt too much to chow down on: smoothies, eggs, and yogurt are great options for breakfast; Quinoa, soups and mashed potatoes are also good options for lunch and dinner items because they are smaller and don’t get stuck in your wires.
While you might be lax with some of your hygiene during the summer, it’s critical that you don’t skip out on your normal dental hygiene practices. Make sure you are still brushing your teeth regularly and flossing frequently, because improper dental hygiene can cause your gums to swell up and slow down the orthodontic process.
Written by Dr. Darren Wittenberger, the best orthodontist Columbia MO has to offer, and owner of his own practice, Advance Orthodontics. Dr. Wittenberger enjoys sharing his expertise to ensure people can maintain the healthiest, straightest teeth possible!