What foods should I avoid after getting braces?

To speed up treatment, you should avoid breaking your brackets/ braces.

Teeth straightening is valuable ventures for so many reasons. Therefore if you or your parents invest in it, it is a life time investment. However, once braces have been installed, the last thing that should happen is debonding. Debonding is when a bracket gets detached from a tooth. Debonding when done by the patient is referred to as a broken bracket. On the other hand, bonding is the process by which brackets get attached to teeth. 

You just got those braces bonded today but want treatment finished yesterday. Finishing orthodontic treatment in the shortest time is a two way street; the orthodontist / dentist must do his part as must you. To speed up treatment, you should avoid breaking your brackets/ braces.

Every broken bracket could translate into extra treatment time. Below are a few tips on what you should not eat during your orthodontic treatment time.

● Sticky foods such as dates and toffee sweets attach to the teeth for longer periods providing sugars for bacteria to produce acids to dissolve your teeth. They also get trapped in the wire and brackets hence dislodging them.

● Chicken or meat on the bone; Of course one can still enjoy these meats, but one has to use a knife and fork to take the chicken off the bone. If it is too much of a hustle, please order boneless chicken at that restaurant.

● Hard or crunchy food such as popcorn, guavas, hard corn, French bread, crisps, toasted bread and fried cassava. These are the number one foods responsible for broken brackets. For brace safety, switch to soft foods such as beans, potatoes, eggs, rolex, matooke and banana. It is okay to have that apple, but you must cut it into smaller pieces that can easily be chewed without breaking the brackets. 

● Avoid mouthfuls of food; Place small quantities of food in the mouth at a time. 

● Fizzy drinks/ carbonated drinks; these not only contain acids but also high quantities of processed sugars. Obviously, if well moderated they are not a problem but one must use a straw.

● Pastries such as cake and cookies should be avoided because they are high in processed sugars. Limit their uptake to once or twice a week.

Do not forget that your orthodontist/ dentist wants you to have that smile you deserve but it must be a healthy one.

Dr Abdul Seguya 

Orthodontist at Alisa dental clinic, Kololo and Pristine dental surgery, Bugolobi

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