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What Foods to Avoid If Youre Wearing Braces or Retainers

If you are wearing braces or retainers, there are foods you need to avoid. Lets start off with the messy ones; food that can easily get stuck in the brackets and wires. These snacks are definitely hands-off if you have your braces or retainers in:

As much as youd like to get hotdogs while watching a baseball game at the ballpark, white bread is a big no-no. Hotdog buns can get stuck in your orthodontic appliances. So can pretzels and corn chips. You might also want to steer clear of licorice, popcorn and cookies.

Do you chew gum? With braces, you might want to avoid gum for the time being. The same goes with beef jerky, candy bars, fruit roll-ups and caramel. These sticky items will be very hard to clean off your orthodontic appliances.

You also need to avoid crunchy snacks, which can break the wires and brackets in your braces. Protruding wires can pierce the inside walls of your cheeks, gums and tongue, causing a great deal of pain. Stay away from hard candy, nuts and apples.

However, there are some food items that are hard but may be permissible. In this case, you might want to slice them up first. If you bite into them, you may damage not only your orthodontic appliances but also your front teeth.

So before you grab a bite, get a knife and cut these up in smaller pieces: apples, sub sandwiches and burgers. The same goes with hard rolls and raw veggies that are hard to bite. You may also want to remove the corn from the cob with a utensil.

On the other hand, you can have these food items even if youre wearing your braces or retainers: bananas, mashed potatoes, peanut butter and jelly, yogurt and pasta.

To learn more about what snacks and foods to avoid, ask your orthodontist.

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