Many people fear that wearing braces will make their life more complicated and that braces are generally inconvenient. Here are a few tips about choosing the type of braces suitable for your needs and advice how to make the treatment faster and more effective by choosing your foods intelligently.
When prescribing braces, the dentist will choose the type suitable for your individual needs. There are various types of braces: metal braces, ceramic braces, lingual braces and Invisalign. Most importantly, nowadays all types of braces are much less noticeable, sometimes even invisible.
The traditional (metal) braces are nowadays much smaller and less noticeable than before and significantly more effective than in the past. On the plus side, they are the least expensive type.
Ceramic braces are very similar in size and shape as metal braces but they have tooth-colored or clear brackets, and sometimes even wires, that blend in to teeth. They are more expensive than metal braces, but move teeth faster than Invisalign.
Lingual braces have brackets and wires placed on the inside of teeth, so they are invisible to other people. However, they are difficult to clean, cost more and are not appropriate for severe cases. Also, they can be more uncomfortable in the beginning and the adjustments last longer.
Invisalign is the clear, invisible alternative to traditional braces. The plastic aligners that are replaced every 2 weeks. They are also removable, so they do not interfere with your daily routine – you can eat and drink whatever you want. Naturally, they cost more.
Since braces are like magnets for food, you need to be extremely conscientious about your tooth cleaning routine. Brush after meals and remove any food leftovers that might be stuck in your braces. When wearing braces no special diet is required, however definitely try to avoid some foods that might cause problems with braces. Also, your dentist will recommend a special flosser for braces.
With braces it is also important to maintain a balanced diet in order to preserve the health of your teeth. The rule of the thumb for choosing food while wearing braces: Avoid anything hard, sweet and sticky, like candies, gum, popcorn, sweet sodas and juices because the sugar is hard to remove from your teeth and may cause tooth decay. When you make an exception and consume these, make sure to brush immediately after.
Here is a more detailed list of foods to avoid:
- Hard and chewy candies
- Sticky and hard candy
- Corn chips
- Hard cookies or crackers
- Sticky, hard or caramel chocolate
- Foods high in sugar (soda, gum)
- Very sticky or chunky peanut butter
- Apples and carrots (cut them into small pieces)
- Corn-on-the-cob (cut off the cob)
- Anything with seeds, nuts, or whole grains
- Finally, do not chew on any non-edible hard items such as pens, pencils, or fingernails.
However, there are still many foods you can eat while wearing braces:
- Mashed potatoes
- Cheese (Brie, Cheddar, cottage cheese)
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Light crackers or cookies
- All noodle dishes
- Corn bread
- Soft-cooked chicken
- Chicken salad
- Nuggets cut into small pieces
- Soft-cooked fish
- Soft cakes
Maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet is absolutely essential for everyone’s teeth and overall health. For braces a healthy diet is the key to success because a proper diet provides all the important nutrients to jaw bones and tissues making the results of your orthodontic treatment better and faster.