You’re in between meals and craving something sweet, but you just started orthodontic treatment and know that many of your favorite foods should now be avoided. Is there anything sweet you can eat? The short answer is yes! Orthodontist Dr. Dennis Flanagan DDS MS and his staff are here to explain the truth about sugar and how to satisfy your sweet tooth without damaging your braces.
The Truth About Sugar
Sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and is off-limits during orthodontic treatment to keep the teeth healthy and strong. Whether you’re in braces or not, it is important to note that candy made of lots of sugar should always be avoided, especially during orthodontic treatment. Failure to do so could mean more dental work after your braces come off.
There is a common misconception that the type of sugar that you consume makes a difference in the overall effect on the teeth. This idea is false – texture and concentration matter immensely. The stickier the candy the more minutes it sits on your teeth the more likely the teeth are to decay or decal off, causing permanent stains. If eating a high sugar content food, the faster they are cleaned off the teeth by saliva, water or a toothbrush, the less risk there is. Once braces are on, sugar has many places to hide and the longer it’s left to sit on the teeth and braces, the more damage it causes.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, Consciously
While you may not be able to enjoy some of your favorite candies as before, don’t worry. There are still many ways to satisfy your sweet tooth while wearing braces that won’t compromise your orthodontic treatment. Some of the sweets you can still enjoy include:
- Dark chocolate
- Sugar-free gum
- Soft-baked cookies
- Smoothies or milkshakes
- Ice cream
- Thin-sliced apples
Just as you would after any meal, it is important to remember to brush after eating to remove any leftover food from your teeth that could cause damage.
Trust the Orthodontic Staff of Dennis J. Flanagan DDS MS
We understand that it can be hard to resist the temptation of satisfying your sweet tooth, but you still have many tasty options. Choosing one of the above foods can help you make healthier choices when you do decide to give in to that temptation. For more information on eating with braces or to schedule an appointment, contact us. Your smile is our priority.