The process of getting a straighter smile you’ll be proud of includes going through orthodontic treatment. Braces are still the most common method of straightening teeth and setting yourself up for good long-term oral health. This treatment method takes plenty of getting used to, but the results will be far more than worth it. One of the adjustments you’ll need to make during your treatment is cutting back on sugar.
Reasons to Avoid Sugar with Braces
Besides the fact that sugar is something you should always do your best to avoid, you have an increased chance of experiencing tooth decay when you have braces. This is because food can more easily become trapped around the brackets, making it harder to clean off with brushing. Having sugary food become stuck in your braces causes plaque to build up, which will lead to the formation of cavities.
Another problem people often experience if they don’t take good care of their teeth while they have braces is discoloration of their teeth enamel. If you aren’t keeping with cleaning and choose sugary foods, you can end up with darker spots around your braces when they are removed.
1. Cut Out Hard Candy
One type of food you should be avoiding for multiple reasons is hard candy. Not only can the tough texture of hard candy possibly damage your braces, but the sugary residue can hide underneath the archwire and brackets. You should also avoid sugary cereals for the same reasons.
2. Reserve Desserts for Special Occasions
When it comes to typical dessert foods like cookies, ice cream, and cakes, you should cut back on how often you eat these foods. The best practice is to reserve these sorts of foods for special occasions, such as if you are at a wedding or birthday celebration. If you still feel like you need to appease your sweet tooth, you can schedule a “cheat day” one day a week where you can have a dessert to satisfy your craving.
3. Avoid White Bread
One type of food many people don’t think of as being sugary is starchy white bread. While this may not exactly be a dessert food, white bread processes in your body the same way sugar does. The same goes for your teeth. White bread processes into sugar in the mouth, which quickly leads to tooth decay. In fact, the texture and contents of white bread can be even worse for your teeth than cane sugar.
4. Read Food Labels Carefully
It can be surprising just how much sugar gets packed into foods that seem like they are meant for meals rather than desserts. This is especially true in America, where sugar is a common ingredient in foods that are marketed as being “savory.” Many sauces like ketchup and barbeque sauce can have surprisingly high levels of sugar. When you go shopping at the store, be sure to read each label and look for the sugar content.
If you have any questions or concerns about life with braces, feel free to contact Austin Orthodontics.