You have decided to straighten your smile with braces, and now you need to know how to care for them. While modern braces have come a long way, there are still certain foods that are not a good idea to eat while undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces. Some foods can loosen or break braces, while others can get caught in them and be particularly difficult to remove with regular cleaning tools. Many of the foods on the list are a given, but others (like bagels) may surprise you. Here is a basic list of the foods to avoid while wearing braces.
Ice: If you need ice in your drink, that's just fine. Just don't bite it!
Nuts: Most nuts are hard enough to break braces.
Bubble gum: This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are many patients who give gum a try. Bad idea.
Candy canes and lollipops: While sucking on hard candies like these isn't so bad (sugar aside), many people can bite down on them without meaning to. This can easily break your braces.
Apples: Apples are great for you, and you don't need to completely stop eating them while you have braces. Just make sure to cut them up first.
Corn on the cob: If you just love the taste of fresh corn, cut it off the cob once it's cooked. Corn is murder on braces!
Popcorn: Actually, popcorn is pretty brutal on teeth in general. It's too easy to crunch down on a kernel without meaning to, so braces wearers need to avoid this treat altogether.
Ribs and chicken wings: These foods are fine to eat if you cut them off the bone. Otherwise, there is a chance that the bones can knick your braces.
Bagels, hard rolls, and pizza crust: These chewy breads are notorious for bending the wires between braces.
Chewy candies like caramel: Another no-brainer. Not only can they break your braces, but have you ever tried to get taffy out of brackets?
Corn chips: Potato chips are o.k., but corn chips are hard enough to break braces.
Remember, your braces are fragile. They are doing their part to make your smile straight and beautiful, but you need to keep up your end of the bargain, too. Avoid the foods on this list and any other foods that are particularly hard, sticky, or chewy. This way, you can keep your braces intact and let them do the job they are meant to do: creating your dream smile.