When you first start orthodontic treatment, you may be surprised to find your favourite foods on the list of foods to avoid, and you may also be puzzled as to why certain foods are on it at all. Some of them seem pretty obvious (chewing gum, for example), while others seem like they are there superfluously, or have no business being there at all. In the article below, we wish to categorise the foods you may see based on how they can disrupt orthodontic treatment, providing a categorisation that hopefully will make some sense.
Foods that are sticky, like soft candies, toffee, gum, gummy candies, locum and other sticky sweets are one of the worst ideas for braces. This is because they can dislodge brackets and the archwire; they can stick between the device and the teeth, causing tooth decay, and can create a giant mess in the mouth that is extremely hard to remove. All chewy and crunchy foods should be avoided, as they all have this problem. Avoid sweets altogether, as the sugar content will create tooth decay in hard to reach places and surfaces below the brackets.
Hard and tough
Foods that are hard or require you to bite down hard to chew them should be avoided. Raw vegetables, although extremely good for you, should be grated or avoided altogether, as they can remove wires and brackets, and can dislodge the braces and even end up hurting your soft tissues. This is also true of nuts and hard, crusty breads or pizzas. These foods can seriously disrupt treatment and lengthen treatment time, not to mention give you extra expenses. Tough foods like beef jerky can loosen the wires and the brackets, making treatment ineffective, and can also dislodge the brackets or wires, causing failure of the device, and can dislodge the device altogether.
Ice and other objects
Very frequently orthodontic braces fail not because of foods that people eat, but because of non-food items, like ice, pen caps, sticks and toothpicks, and other non-food items that people chew. These are hard and can dislodge the brackets, but also provide ample opportunity to get something stuck in the wire, or between the bracket and archwire. Ice is also super bad, because it is cold and can have the brackets contract and expand, which may cause the bracket to fall off or move slightly.