More Americans are seeking orthodontic treatment than ever before. However, many don’t know that orthodontic treatments come with some dietary restrictions. There are certain foods and drinks that orthodontists recommend avoiding to ensure orthodontic treatment is successful. Let’s review some foods to avoid during orthodontic treatment.

1. Taffy and Caramels

Taffy and caramels are super sticky and can easily get stuck in your orthodontic appliances. Plus, they’re full of sugar and can increase your risk of developing cavities. So, if you go to the carnival or amusement park this year, pick a different treat like ice cream or frozen yogurt.

2. Hard Pretzels

Hard pretzels are a delicious alternative to potato chips. However, they can break or bend orthodontic wires and brackets. If craving pretzels, you’re not out of luck. You can always opt for soft pretzels!

3. Chewy Candy

Chewing hard or chewy candy can also bend orthodontic wires, brackets, and bands. These foods have lots of sugar that cause cavities when you can’t properly clean all corners of your teeth. Some of the worst hard candies to consume during orthodontic treatment include gummy bears, jellybeans, and Starbursts.

4. Popcorn

While popcorn is relatively soft, orthodontics warns against it. The unpopped kernels can get stuck between your teeth or in the orthodontic appliance, leading to damage. The best way to enjoy popcorn is to go for the air-popped kind, as it’s much less likely to get stuck.

5. Gum

Chewing gum can be a quick and easy way to freshen up your breath. However, gum can get stuck in braces and increase the risk of cavities. Once gum becomes stuck, orthodontic cleaning can be a bit of a hassle. So, we recommend avoiding gum altogether during treatment.

6. Ice

Ice can be a refreshing treat on a hot summer day. While it may seem like an okay snack, orthodontics specialists advise avoiding it at all costs. It’s hard and can put pressure on braces and wires. The best option to use is crushed ice.

Orthodontics involves using appliances, like braces and retainers, to help move teeth into their proper positions. Eating the wrong foods can break orthodontic wires and brackets, leading to more treatment time. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, it’s recommended to get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. So talk to an orthodontist at the first sign of alignment issues. Contact our local orthodontic office at Silver Smiles today for a consultation.