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Snack Swaps To Make When Wearing Braces

When you get braces, it’s important to be careful when eating certain foods. This is because traditional braces use metal wires and elastics which can break easily when eating chewy, hard or crunchy foods. Whilst braces are strong enough to move and realign your teeth, they are fragile and susceptible to breaking. When your braces are put on, you’ll likely be given a list of foods by your orthodontist that you should avoid, which might mean that some of your favourite foods are now a no-go. 

No matter what your diet was like before getting braces, you’re likely to come across some foods that you can no longer eat during your orthodontic treatment. Most of these foods will likely be snack foods, as these tend to be crunchy, chewy or hard. As a result, you may find that you need to make some snack swaps that satisfy your snack cravings until your braces are removed. 

Avoid Nuts

Nuts may be packed full of protein, but they are perhaps one of the worst snacks you can choose when you have metal braces. Not only are they hard and crunchy, but they’re also small enough to get stuck or cause damage to the metal brace wires. Even without braces, nuts can be hard enough to chip teeth if bitten incorrectly. 

Swap For: Edamame Beans

Edamame beans are not only rich in vitamins, minerals and protein (160g of edamame beans contain 37% of your recommended daily intake of protein), but they’re soft and delicious – a perfect, healthy swap if you love snacking on nuts. They can be flavoured with salt, chilli, pepper or garlic if you want to add more flavour, but be sure to avoid eating them straight from the pod to avoid damage to your braces.

Ciao to Crudites

Crudites are the perfect accompaniment to delicious dips such as hummus, tzatziki or aioli, but they can be bad news for your braces. These crunchy, hard batons can wreak havoc on the thin metal wire and delicate elastics, causing them to break or snap. Whilst dips and crudites are a traditional pairing, there are some other accompaniments you can use instead. 

Swap For: Soft Wraps

Tortilla wraps are a great, if slightly less healthy, accompaniment for dips. They’re thin and soft, meaning that they’re unlikely to cause damage to your braces, whilst still being tasty, plus they pair with a wide variety of different dips. Cut up into triangles for soft tortilla chips to dip, or tear and scoop as you go!

Freshening Up

When you have braces, it’s recommended that you avoid chewing gum and hard or chewy mints. Chewing gum can wrap around your brace wire, or get stuck to the elastics on your brackets. Hard or chewy mints can also cause damage to the wire and brackets, which when damaged, can cause discomfort or setbacks in your treatment time. 

Swap For: Good Dental Hygiene and Freshening Strips

If you’re concerned about having bad breath when wearing braces, or simply like to freshen up with gum during the day but no longer can, then one of the best ways to keep your mouth feeling fresh is to ensure you follow good dental hygiene practices. 

When wearing metal braces, you may find that soft foods, such as bread and pasta, get stuck in the brackets or between your teeth, so ensure that you brush your teeth regularly and use interdental brushes to get rid of any lingering foodstuffs. Use mouthwash, too, and take a small bottle around with you if you want to freshen up during the day. Instead of mints, you can get freshening strips which you place on your tongue and they then dissolve if you miss on-the-go freshness. 

Alternative Treatments

When you get metal braces, you will likely find that a lot of your favourite foods are now off the cards. If you don’t want to restrict your diet, or simply don’t like the appearance of traditional metal braces, you may want to consider getting in touch with your local Leamington Spa orthodontics clinic and enquiring about Invisalign. Invisalign is a revolutionary teeth straightening treatment that uses almost invisible clear plastic aligners. This treatment means that you can remove the aligners when eating or drinking, so you don’t need to give up your favourite snacks!

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