It’s exciting to get braces because you know that you’ll soon have a beautiful smile. However, you’ll go through a bit of a learning curve when you start wearing braces. That’s because there are several restrictions about what you can do and eat that may take some getting used to. Once you learn what not to do, you’ll be on your way to a great smile.

What to Avoid When Wearing Braces

Braces are made of three main parts: the bands, which hold the brackets in place; the archwires, which move your teeth to the correct position; and the brackets, which hold the archwires in place. Each of these three sections can be damaged by food, contact sports, or other factors.

Preventing Braces Damage

  • Watch What You Eat. Braces are designed with many different parts, and each has a particular function. If one of them breaks, then the braces won’t work the way they are supposed to. Food, in particular, can be hard on your braces. Lots of people love sticky treats, hard foods, and chewy snacks. However, you should avoid hard cookies, nuts, popcorn, bagels, and hard raw vegetables like carrots, as well as sticky foods like candies. The things you should avoid aren’t just limited to food–you should keep everything away from your mouth that shouldn’t be there. We have patients who chew on pencils and erasers, and those are unfortunately the cause of lots of damaged braces.
  • Keep Up with Your Dental Health. Be sure that you brush and floss two or three times a day. The brackets and wires can make it difficult to get to all of the food particles, but it’s very important that everything is brushed away so that it doesn’t form plaque. Floss threaders are easy to use and can get behind the bands.
  • Protect Your Mouth When Playing Sports. It’s important to stay active—it’s all part of a healthy lifestyle. However, you should always wear a mouthguard when you play contact sports like soccer, hockey, football, and lacrosse. Otherwise, if you are hit in the mouth by a ball or another athlete, your braces won’t get damaged—and your mouth won’t be damaged either. It’s critical that teens with braces always wear a mouthguard when playing sports.

King Orthodontics provides orthodontic services for kids, teens, and adults in the Pittsburgh area. Our locations in the North Hills and downtown area are convenient, and our orthodontists and staff provide excellent patient care. Call us today for an appointment.