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The Top 7 Things You Should Not Do While Wearing Braces


May 6th, 2020

Whether you just got braces fitted for the first time, or you have been wearing them for months, you probably know by now that there are certain things that you should avoid while wearing braces.

There is nothing worse than eating the wrong foods, twisting your wires, and having to wait for an appointment to get your messed up braces fixed.

Even worse, you could do enough damage to your braces that you could actually cut the inside of your mouth, and still have to wait to get your braces fixed. 

The problem is, what habits or foods should you avoid while wearing braces? How can you prevent your brackets from breaking off and shifting your wires? 

Thankfully, we created this article to answer those exact questions. Keep on reading to learn everything about what you should avoid while wearing braces, and what you can do instead.

Let’s get started!

1. Foods To Avoid

Eating the wrong foods is the most common cause of damaged braces. You do not have to change your entire diet, but you may need to change a few things. A few of the main foods include:

Chewing Gum

While wearing braces, it is smart to just stay away from anything sticky in general, especially anything that sticks to your teeth. Anything that sticks to your teeth will stick to your braces, causing possible damage. 

Chewing gum can pull on your brackets, rubber bands, wires, causing them to pull out of alignment. 

Chewing Ice

Chewing on ice not only puts your braces at risk, but it could also damage your teeth! Ice is hard, and the bigger the piece of ice, the more you should stay away from chewing on it. 

Hard and Crunchy Foods

Any food that is classified as crunchy should be avoided while you are wearing braces. This includes hard potato chips, apples, popcorn, hard toast, etc.

Some of these foods can still be enjoyed, but you may need to cut them up first, like apples, carrots, and celery. Instead of crunchy, sugary breakfast cereal, opt for oatmeal with maple syrup instead.

Sticky Foods

There are some obvious sticky foods such as candied apples that most people know to avoid while wearing braces, and there are some not so obvious foods like gummy bears, most candies, chocolate bars, toffee, etc.

The best thing about avoiding sticky foods is that most of them are full of sugar anyway, so not only are you improving the health of your braces and teeth, but you are also improving your overall health and well-being. 

Sugar leads to weight gain, diabetes, tooth decay, nervous problems, anxiety, malnutrition, and many more health conditions. 

Foods That Get Into Your Teeth

If any foods get stuck in your teeth, you will need to eliminate them from your diet while you are wearing braces. 

Corn on the cob is commonly known to damage braces, along with mangos, popcorn, crackers with little seeds, chewy meat, etc.

It is best to avoid these foods altogether, and if something gets into your teeth, try and rinse your mouth immediately.

2. Don’t Use Your Teeth As a Tool

It is quite mind-baffling that many people, despite wearing braces, still feel the need to use their teeth as a tool. 

Whether you are wearing braces or not, you should never use your teeth to open up bottles, tear open bags, bend wires, holding anything, or do anything except for eating. 

Yes, it is true that our ancestors used their teeth as tools, and they also experienced major tooth traumas and decay. Times have changed, and we have actual tools for that now. 

3. Do Not Drink Soda Pop

Too much sugar and carbonation can destroy the glue that holds the brackets onto your teeth. This will cause damage to the braces, and also increase your chances of developing cavities because the sugar sticks underneath the brackets.

4. Do Not Forget Your Routines

Adding braces to your daily routine means that you have a bit more to be conscious of in your daily activities. For example, if you have elastic bands to help with jaw mobility, you need to take them out before eating. 

5. Chewing On Non-Food Items

Out of nervousness and anxiety, many people chew on random things to help ease their nerves and boredom.

Stay away from chewing on pencils, pens, and fingernails. Not only is it non-hygienic, but it is also dangerous for your teeth. 

6. Use Guards For Athletics

One thing that you should never avoid doing while wearing braces is playing sports. However, if you do, you must wear a mouthguard. Your Orthodontist will design a special mouthguard for you so that you can continue playing the sports you love.

One thing to keep in mind though is if you are playing a sport that has a high risk for being hit in the face, you may want to reduce those risks by switching player positions, wearing a helmet, or taking a break. 

7. Grinding Your Teeth

Teeth grinding, also known as Bruxism, affects over 31% of the population. This is a common stress response for most people and the only way to reduce it is to lower your stress levels.

There are some ways to deal with Bruxism better, such as wearing a nightguard while you sleep. Your Orthodontist can create the perfect nightguard so you can keep your teeth and braces safe while you sleep.

Learn More About What to Avoid While Wearing Braces

Wearing braces can be a bit tricky and uncomfortable at first, however, nothing can top that confident feeling of loving your smile.

To learn more about how to care for your braces, or to inquire about getting your first set of braces fitted, feel free to contact us.

We can set you up with an appointment to discuss the best possible options for you and your oral health.

Put your smile in our caring hands.


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