This Orthodontic Health Month, Buttram Orthodontics wants to share with our braces-wearing patients how to approach sweet treats during treatment. Whether you are interested in learning more for yourself or your child, Dr. Buttram and our team are here to share which to avoid and which are safe, emergencies to be wary of, and how to maintain your oral hygiene in the process. Celebrate this important month of education and celebration of healthy smiles with us to better understand your appliance.
Candy Choices To Steer Clear Of
When wearing braces, being aware of what you eat is extremely important to maintaining the functionality of your appliance. Many sweets stand to be too crunchy, sticky, or hard, forcing more pressure on your braces than is necessary. Here is a list of sweets you will want to say “no” to this Halloween:
- Sticky candies such as caramel, gum, Laffy Taffy, and Jelly Beans
- Crunchy candies such as candy apples, popcorn, crackers, and sugared nuts
- Hard sweets such as cookies, lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, and Life Savers.
Though an inexhaustive list, you will also want to avoid similar treats. Especially when it comes to candies, knowing which are off the table for consumption can save you from an orthodontic emergency later. Placing additional pressure on your appliance that it is not made for can cause unnecessary discomfort and disrupt your treatment.
You Can Still Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Don’t worry! Just because some candies are off-limits does not mean everything is. You can still enjoy a variety of delicious sweets during braces treatment. Buttram Orthodontics recommends sticking to soft, chewy desserts you can easily consume, including but not limited to those below:
- Chocolates like Kit Kats, peanut butter cups, and Hershey’s kisses
- Non-chocolate sweets like marshmallows and wafers
- Other desserts like donuts, ice cream (without nuts), chewy cookies, smoothies, and milkshakes
This is a great chance to try some new foods you may have otherwise just passed up. Who knows, you may find a new favorite candy! If you are curious about a specific food or sweet, Dr. Buttram will happily answer which foods are appropriate when wearing braces.
What Sugar Does To Your Teeth
Sugar is a tempting category of food to give in to. While there is nothing wrong with an occasional dessert, practicing moderation and knowing when to stop is key. When you eat something sugary, the natural bacteria in your mouth feed off the carbohydrates left behind, resulting in an excessive build-up of acid if too much is consumed at once. This acid negatively impacts the health of your teeth, including breaking down your protective enamel leaving them exposed to tooth decay and cavities.
With some regions of your teeth being challenging to clean with your toothbrush, being conscious of your sugar intake and how to clean your teeth is essential. Dr. Buttram 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.
Safeguarding Your Smile From Sweets
Flossing is Essential
Flossing during treatment is essential to keeping your teeth in excellent condition and protected from emergencies. You want to dislodge any small piece of food left behind with a string of floss through your teeth so it can get under your wires. Our office can provide special threaders so you can clean even the hard-to-reach areas without strain.
Proper Brushing Technique
Brushing your teeth at least twice daily, in the morning and at night, is an excellent start to maintaining oral hygiene. With braces, brushing after each meal can help increase your treatment’s effectiveness.
Place an ample amount of fluoride toothpaste on your soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in a circular motion at 45 degrees. Beginning at the gum line and taking the time to reach every necessary area will help ensure the health of your teeth.
Cleaning off sugary residue will help reduce acid buildup and protect your teeth from breaking down. If you have any questions on best practice brushing techniques, Dr. Buttram will gladly demonstrate them at your next appointment.
Keep Water Handy
Should you not be in a place where you can conveniently brush and floss your teeth, drink plenty of water to flush tiny particles of food and lingering plaque. It can also help prevent staining when eating or drinking something dark in color. In keeping hydrated, your mouth is able to stay moistened and create an incompatible environment for bacteria growth.
Moderation is Key
As mentioned, moderation is key in candy and tracking your sugar intake. Keeping track of your sweets consumption and proactively cutting off how much you eat is vital for ensuring dental health. Give us a call if something comes up!
Be On The Lookout For Tooth Troubles
Orthodontic emergencies, such as cavities, tooth decay, and a broken bracket or wire, can be caused by excessive sugar intake. The stickiness or hardness of certain foods puts your appliance at risk, while the carbohydrates within the food leave your teeth susceptible to damage.
Taking the time to examine your teeth for warning signs such as holes in them, toothaches, small white dots, and temperature sensitivity can help you let us know of an issue before it turns severe. Each of these complications is avoidable, granted you take the proper precautions. If you suspect something is wrong, don’t hesitate to contact our office so we can help walk you through it!
Celebrate Orthodontic Health Month with Buttram Orthodontics!
Braces are an exciting time in your life, and we celebrate you being here receiving treatment from us! Our team at Buttram Orthodontics is here to answer any questions you have about sweets and your appliance. We are here to help you care for your teeth and ensure you end care with the best smile possible. Contact our Panama City office to schedule your free consultation today!