Braces, Dr. Derek Brown, Winning Smiles Orthodontics, Bowie and Hyattsville, MDIf you have (or are considering) traditional braces, you probably already know that there are restrictions on certain foods that patients with braces can eat.  But what are these foods, and why are they forbidden during the treatment process?

The reason that most of the foods are not allowed is because they are hard or crunchy, and risk breaking, bending, or otherwise damaging the wiring of the braces.  This includes food such as popcorn, nuts, hard candies, crunchy peanut butter, and crunchy chips.

Some other foods should be avoided because they are sticky and can be difficult or nearly impossible to clean from your braces.  The most prominent example of this is gum, but caramel, taffy and even sticky peanut butter are also included in this category.

Caution needs to be used when eating certain foods. For example, bagels or other chewy breads should be torn into small pieces, and chips should be eaten carefully and one at a time.  Corn should not be eaten on the cob, and apples or carrots should be cut into small pieces.

Although not technically “food,” it can also be damaging to your braces treatment if you chew on items such as ice, pens, pencils, or fingernails. Avoid these habits to ensure that your braces treatment goes as pain-free and smoothly as possible.

While avoiding foods that you like is not enjoyable, eating them risks breaking wires or brackets, which can be painful and possibly prolong your treatment.

To learn more about food restrictions while wearing braces, contact Dr. Derek E. Brown of Winning Smiles Orthodontics.  Winning Smiles Orthodontics has offices located in Hyattsville and Bowie, MD, and is proud to offer services to those in and around Washington, DC; Bowie, MD; Hyattsville, MD; Prince George’s County; Montgomery County; and Anne Arundel County.

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