Orthodontic Health Month: Eating Sweet Treats With Braces

As we mark Orthodontic Health Month, Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics is excited to continue educating our patients on how to best care for their braces, this time on the subject of eating sweet treats. With anything, too much of a good thing can result in repercussions working against your effective treatment time, but that doesn’t mean all candy is off-limits! Our team is here to share what sweet treats you can indulge in, as well as which to avoid this Halloween season and how to upkeep your oral hygiene to prevent any issues.

Braces-Smart Candy Choices

Luckily, plenty of delicious candy and sweet choices are safe for braces wearers to enjoy! Anything soft, well-cooked, and easy to bite into is welcome to go on your plate. This is also a great time to try new foods you may have previously avoided. Provided is a list of acceptable candies you can eat: 

  • Kit Kats
  • Peanut Butter Cups
  • Ice Cream
  • Smoothies 
  • Donuts
  • Chocolate (without nuts)
  • Chewy Cookies

Proactively taking care of your teeth and moderating your sugar intake drastically helps to keep your teeth healthy and safe from issues. In doing so, you also protect your appliance from unsafe foods that could damage your appliance. 

Excessive Sugar Consumption Leads To Unhealthy Teeth

If you overeat candy, it can have adverse effects on your overall dental health. You may not feel anything is wrong initially, but complications can start inside the teeth and become more severe before making themselves known.

When you eat too much of something sugary at once, the natural bacteria in your mouth feed off the carbohydrates it leaves behind, resulting in an excessive build-up of acid. This acid negatively impacts the health of your teeth, including breaking down the protective layer of enamel and exposing them to tooth decay, cavities, and temperature sensitivity.

Some areas of your teeth are difficult to reach with your toothbrush and can thus leave them exposed to what you consume until your next appointment. Dr. Lee cautions patients without braces to think about how much sugar they eat, but braces wearers must be even more so as to avoid any emergencies and continue their treatment smoothly.

Orthodontic Health Month: Eating Sweet Treats With Braces

Forbidden Sweets

With any new phase in your life, braces come with a learning curve, one of which is figuring out what foods are safe to eat with your appliance. Especially when it comes to candies, knowing which are off the table for consumption can save you from an orthodontic emergency down the road. Mentioned below is a list of off-limit sweets harmful to your smile progress:

  • Laffy Taffy
  • Gum
  • Lollipops
  • Jelly Beans
  • Popcorn
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Skittles

These extra sticky and chewy foods can get caught up in your wires or brackets and potentially cause otherwise avoidable damage to your treatment progress. Your braces are not built to withstand this additional force placed on them, and damage can leave your appliance susceptible to an emergency. 

Orthodontic Concerns With Sugary Candy

Cavities, tooth decay, and broken brace components can result from improper appliance care or excessive sugar consumption. The stickiness or hardness of certain foods puts your appliance at risk, while the carbohydrates within the food leave your teeth susceptible to damage.

Be cautious of signs your teeth are suffering, such as developing small white dots that don’t go away with regular brushing, toothaches, holes in or between your teeth, and temperature sensitivity. The earlier we can diagnose an issue, the earlier our team can help you with a more straightforward treatment.

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy With Sweets In Mind

Exercise Self-Control

Close to Halloween, it is more tempting than ever to indulge in extra candy. Nevertheless, the most essential thing to remember is to enjoy in moderation. We want all of our patients to enjoy this holiday season without ending it with a cavity or other difficulty. If you have second thoughts about whether too candy much is too much or if a particular sweet is safe for eating, we say better safe than sorry. Don’t hesitate to give us a call if something comes up!

Importance of Flossing

Cleaning between your teeth daily throughout treatment is necessary to protect them from common dental concerns. Our office can provide you with special threaders made for braces wearers in which a string of floss is connected to a thin loop of material so it is able to reach below your wire and between each tooth.

Step-by-Step Brushing Your Teeth

Cleaning your teeth while donning braces is a slightly different process than cleaning them without the appliance present. So, properly caring for each is vital to ensuring oral hygiene stays in top condition. Our team recommends squeezing out plenty of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled, rounded toothbrush and brushing at the gum line. 

Brush above and below your brackets and wires across your mouth, then spend some time polishing your appliance as well. Braces can roughen up your toothbrush faster than usual, so be sure to replace it once you start to notice wear. Trying to polish your teeth with a worn-down toothbrush is not nearly as effective as a new one.

Any complications you encounter during this process, anyone on our team will gladly walk you through the best practices.

Staying Hydrated 

Dr. Lee recommends brushing your teeth after each meal, but rinsing your mouth with water is the next best thing if you cannot do so. By doing so, you let any plaque sitting on your teeth, as well as stains, disappear. By staying hydrated, your mouth can moisten and create an incompatible environment for bacteria growth, so you have one less thing to worry about.

Orthodontic Health Month: Eating Sweet Treats With Braces

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Smile!

Regarding sweets and teeth, our team at Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics are the experts you can rely on to answer any questions or concerns you may have. At our Oxnard and Santa Paula offices, we welcome new patients and look forward to beginning your braces journey with you. Contact either location to get your free consultation today!