Eating with Braces?
It’s important to know that your child needs to make some changes to their eating habits once they have braces. Some food can cause your braces to break and should be avoided as much as possible but can be allowed if it’s prepared properly.
Why change my child’s diet?
Changing your child’s diet is not only to prevent damage to their braces. Apart from minimizing your trips to the orthodontist here are a few more reasons.
Protect Braces from Damage
The main reason why your child should change what they do and don’t eat is to avoid damaging their braces. If they eat something that is too hard or too sticky, it can break the wire or loosen a bracket on their teeth. Broken braces are ineffective and need to be fixed by your orthodontist as soon as possible.
Avoid Discomfort After Adjustments to Braces
One or two days after your child’s braces have been adjusted, they might experience some pain or discomfort. While they get used to the new adjustment of their braces, they should mainly stick to soft food. Smoothies, soups, and yoghurt are all good options and once their teeth have moved into position, they can go back to their normal braces-friendly eating habits.
Reduce the Risk of Stained Teeth
When your child eats food that is high in sugar and doesn’t brush straight away, it can cause stains. What often happens is that the exposed part of the teeth gets stained and the unexposed parts, where the bracket is attached, don’t. Eating food that’s low in sugar can prevent a difference in the colour of teeth once the braces are removed.
A great tip is to change the way they consume certain foods. Instead of biting into an apple, try to cut it into small pieces so that they can chew with their moulders.
- Bread – pre-cut soft bread is a safe option but try to avoid bread that contain seeds
- Dairy – soft cheese and yoghurt are easy to eat while wearing braces
- Grains–cooked rice, soft noodles and cooked pasta are soft and very brace-friendly
- Cakes & Muffins – they can still enjoy soft cake slices and crispy biscuits
- Chicken & Soft Meat – your child can enjoy roast, deli and barbecued meats
- Cooked Vegetables – make sure it’s soft when it’s cooked
- Soft fruits – bananas, kiwi fruit, pineapple, strawberries
- Sweet treats – ice cream, jelly, milkshakes, and soft jelly sweets
FOOD TO AVOID WITH BRACES
- Whole apples & pears – instead of biting into hard fruits, cut it up into smaller pieces
- Raw Vegetables – many vegetables are hard when it’s raw so rather cook vegetables until it’s soft and easy to chew
- Hard bread – try to avoid hard rolls, hard bread and pizza crusts
- Popcorn – popcorn kernels can easily become stuck in braces so it’s better to avoid it completely
- Nuts – most nuts are hard and can dislodge brackets or break wires
- Corn on the Cob – never bite into corn on the cob. Instead, use a sharp knife to cut the corn off before eating it.
- Caramel– sticky foods can cause brackets and wires to break or dislodge
- Lollies – most lollies are either hard or chewy, so it’s best to avoid them
- Beef Jerky –it’s chewy and often tough to bite into and can damage braces
- Chewing Gum –once gum gets stuck in the grooves of the brackets and around the wire, it’s difficult to get out
- Turmeric –try to steer your child away from dishes containing turmeric braces it can stain braces and retainers.
If you’re not sure if your child can eat a certain type of food, ask your orthodontist for advice.