How to Avoid Getting Food Stuck in Your Braces

How to Avoid Getting Food Stuck in Your Braces

Sick and tired of getting food stuck in your braces? Wearing braces as an adult is hard enough. There’s nothing worse than eating lunch with a boss or client and all the while fearing that your entire meal has ended up stuck in your metal wires and brackets! (No one wants to have another ‘meal’ saved for later!) Good news: you don’t have to give up all your favourite foods to avoid that awkward food-stuck-in-my-braces look. All it takes is a few simple changes to avoid getting food stuck in your braces.

When you first get braces, your orthodontist probably told you to avoid foods that are sticky, crunchy or hard. Yes, this does mean you’ll need to steer clear of popcorn, caramel treats, pretzels, and gum. These foods can get caught between brackets and wires, creating a big gooey mess and causing tooth decay. But are there any foods that you can eat with braces? Absolutely!

Eat That, Not This: What to Eat With Braces

DON’T eat crisps, pretzels or hard nuts. DO opt for noodles, pasta and soft-cooked rice. A final word of caution: go easy on the Poutine: sadly all those cheese curds and gravy can make one big soft, sticky mess with your braces. You can still eat it, but just prepare to wash it all out with a tall drink.

DON’T eat sticky sweets, gum, licorice, Starburst candies or caramels. DO be careful when biting into a chocolate bar­. Check the ingredient label first to ensure there are no nuts or caramel. Better yet, break off a small piece with your fingers to eat rather than biting directly into the bar.

DON’T eat tough meats like beef jerky or Slim Jims. Eating these tough meats can cause your brackets and wires to loosen. DO stick with softer meats like meatballs and soft-cooked chicken.

DON’T bite directly into hard rolls, bagels, or pizza crust. Doing so can knock off your brackets. DO stick with sliced bread, soft tortillas, pancakes, biscuits and muffins without any nuts.

DON’T bite into carrots or apples. DO eat softer cooked vegetables, like steamed spinach, peas, yams, and mashed potatoes. Soft fruits like bananas, avocados, and peaches are okay, but cut them up first into small, manageable bites.

DON’T chew on ice, pens, or pencils, or bite your nails. While technically you’re not eating your pen (right?), chewing on it is still one of the easiest ways to damage your braces.

DO indulge in your favourite smoothies, milkshakes and ice cream treats. Just be sure to brush your teeth to prevent sugar from forming cavities!

Help! What Should I Do if Food is Stuck in My Braces?

Even if you stick to “safe” foods, it’s inevitable you’ll still get some food particles stuck in your braces after every meal. Avoid an embarrassing run-in with food stuck in your braces. Make it a habit to head to the bathroom after every meal to clean your teeth. First, start by swishing water vigorously around your mouth then spitting it out, repeating several times. While this won’t dislodge every particle, this will take care of some of the bigger ones. Next, use a small dental pick or tooth pick to remove small particles that are stuck between your wires and teeth or trapped by a bracket. Finally, carry a small travel toothbrush with you to brush after the meal. This three-step approach to oral hygiene will keep your braces food-free and your pearly whites are cavity-free.

Ready to get a healthy, beautiful smile with new braces? Contact your nearest Docbraces to schedule your FREE consultation—you can visit our Halifax, Dartmouth, Moncton, AmherstSummerside or Charlottetown practices!