Just got your first set of metal braces and worried about breaking them? Your fears aren't entirely unfounded, as there are many foods that can damage your braces if you're not careful. To avoid a premature trip back to the orthodontist, check out the list of brace-destroying foods below, along with some handy suggestions on what you can eat instead.
That moment when you accidentally bite down on an unpopped corn kernel in the cinema? It's not fun for anyone, but it's especially risky when you have braces which could be damaged.
To reduce the risk of a brace disaster during your favourite film, get hold of some hull-less popcorn. It's corn that's specially bred to ensure that hulls always shatter upon popping. If you can't find that, consider eating fries during your film instead.
2. Hard candy
Aside from being pretty bad for your teeth, hard candy can cause serious damage to your braces when you bite down. Be wary of switching to gummy sweets, instead, though. If they're too sticky, these sweets can easily get stuck inside your braces, leaving your teeth exposed to sugar for an unhealthy amount of time. If you need a sweet snack, try soft fruits like bananas and strawberries.
3. Crunchy taco shells
Worried that Taco Tuesday is over now that you've got your braces? It's smart to avoid crunchy taco shells, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on Mexican food altogether.
Take your usual taco filling and eat in a soft taco shell, as a burrito filling, or on top of Mexican rice. Most of these options have the added bonus of being way easier to eat than tacos, so it's a win-win.
Nuts are packed with healthy fats and make a great snack, but they're not so good for your braces. Biting down on hard nuts could easily damage your braces, so they're best avoided.
Luckily, you can still enjoy peanut butter, or other options like almond, cashew and hazelnut butter. These are usually readily available in health food stores and make a delicious sandwich spread. You could also look at other nut-based products usually aimed at vegans, like nut milk, nut-based ice cream and nut-based cheese.
If you want to keep your metal braces in one piece, you'll need to make a few changes to your diet. Luckily, there are tons of substitutions that are really easy to make.