What to eat when wearing braces

Whether you wear a fixed or removable brace during your orthodontic treatment it is important to monitor your diet to ensure optimal tooth health. However careful you are about brushing and mouth-rinsing, some braces can make it harder to keep your mouth clean. Not only must your oral hygiene be good, but you must watch what you eat. 

When wearing fixed appliances it soon becomes clear that crunchy and chewy foods are the enemy, however they are not the only enemy. Advice on diet from orthodontic specialists will focus on the welfare of the braces and you will be warned against toffees, popcorn, gum and hard foods such as crunchy apples or carrots, nuts and crusty bread. 

Here are a few tips on helpful ingredients for future shopping lists:

  • Go for low acid (ph greater than 4.5) options, such as bananas, mangoes, melons, soups, pasta, milk, dairy foods, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.
  • Any recipe you choose must make it easy to bite and chew so vegetables should be chopped small or cooked or pureed.
  • Starchy foods can stick to your teeth and do harm so try and keep snacks like crisps to a minimum. Why not choose wraps, tortilla or pitta to replace conventional breads and consider dishes such as risotto or lasagne for minimum chewing and crunching?
  • For breakfast, porridge is a fantastic option. It’s much easier than muesli which combines crunchiness with chewiness.
  • Drinks and foods with high acid content have the most potential for harm. Some of these may appear quite health-giving, such as fruits and their juices, fruit tea and balsamic vinegar but the acids they contain temporarily soften tooth enamel and can lead to a condition called acid erosion.
  • Be wary of carbonated drinks or over-consumption of anything with a lot of vinegar, such as salad dressings or pickles.
  • Keep sweet foods and drinks to a minimum, especially when you have braces on.

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