Braces Friendly Summer Snacks in Long Beach

Braces Friendly Summer Snacks in Long Beach

Summer vacation is here! That means it’s time for fun in the sun, traveling, and lots and lots of snacking. If you or your child has braces, you need to be careful what kind of snacks you indulge in this summer. You don’t want to harm your braces or your teeth, after all. This short guide will help you make the right decision about what snacks to eat.

Why Do I Need to Be Careful About Snacks With Braces?

There are two reasons you need to be careful when you snack while wearing braces. The first is that some snacks, such as popcorn, can physically damage your braces, resulting in an emergency trip to the Long Beach office for repairs. Secondly, other foods can get stuck in your braces, causing tooth decay and gum disease.

What Type of Snacks Do I Need to Be Careful About?

The most important snacks to avoid are hard and crunchy snacks such as nuts, hard candies, popcorn, ice, chips, nuts, and pretzels. You also need to avoid snacks that are sticky or chewy. These include caramels, bagels, bubble gum, and gummies. Finally, avoid foods you have to bite into in order to eat. This means that whole apples and corn on the cob are off the menu.

You should also avoid sugary drinks. These are never a good idea, but the sugar clings to the teeth around your braces and is hard to clean off, putting you at higher risk of tooth decay.

What Type of Snacks Are Okay?

Most other types of foods are safe to eat. You have so many other options to choose from! Fresh fruit, from watermelon to bananas, is always a good choice. Apples are okay if you slice them up first. Soft breads like tortillas, dips such as hummus and guacamole, and soft or cooked veggies are good choices. Cheese, yogurt, and meat snacks are all fine. 

Basically, any food that isn’t hard or sticky is a good choice.

Do I Need to Be Careful if I Don’t Have Traditional Metal Braces?

It depends on what type of braces you do have. You must be careful with any type of non-removable braces. If you have Invisalign® Clear Aligners, you will be fine to eat any snacks you like as long you remove your aligners first. You need to be careful how often you snack, however; you don’t want to take your retainers out for too long every day, or they will lose their effectiveness.

How Should I Clean My Braces After Snacking?

Every time you snack, you should rinse or (preferably) brush your teeth afterward. The sooner you remove food from your teeth and braces, the less likely food residue is to become stuck and cause issues with your teeth.

Cease snacking and drinking anything but water at least an hour before going to bed. Before you head off to sleep, brush your teeth thoroughly, being careful to clean around each of your brackets and all the wires. Floss as best you can. If you have a floss threader or orthodontic floss, use it on each tooth. If you do not have either of these, please contact our Long Beach office and speak to us about them. You want to protect your teeth.

Finally, do not snack during the middle of the night. You do not want food particles staying on your teeth all night and into the next morning. That’s a recipe for tooth decay and gum disease.

What Should I Do if a Problem Develops with My Braces After Snacking?

It depends on the nature of the problem. If something gets stuck in your braces, do your best to get it out with orthodontic floss and brushing. Never leave something stuck if you can help it. The longer it is there, the more likely you are to develop problems. If you can’t remove it on your own, contact the Long Beach office for an appointment.

If you break a bracket or wire, or knock a wire loose, contact us immediately. You will need to come in for a repair as soon as possible. We make an effort to reserve some appointment times for just such emergencies.

What Should I Do if I’m Away from Home and My Braces Break?

That’s a good question since everyone travels so much during the summer. You should seek out a local dentist, orthodontist, or emergency dental clinic to evaluate the damage and possibly repair it. If nothing else, a local practice should be able to stabilize the braces and prevent the damage from worsening until you get home.

Regardless of whether or not you get the issues with your braces repaired while you’re on vacation, when you return to Long Beach call our office and schedule an appointment so we can double-check that everything is okay.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair Braces in Long Beach?

The cost of repairing your braces depends on the issues involved and the nature of the repairs needed. The more complex the repair, the more expensive it will be. The cost also depends on how much your dental insurance will cover. Our staff will let you know the cost before work is performed so you don’t have any surprises at the checkout counter.

In addition, Orthodontics of Long Beach offers payment arrangements and financing options to help you afford the care you need today. We know the burden an emergency expense such as an unexpected braces repair can put on a family. Ask our office if these are options you’re interested in pursuing.

Do You Want to Improve Your Smile?

Orthodontics of Long Beach offers both traditional and modern braces to help you achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of having. Whether you would like traditional metal braces or Invisalign® Clear Retainers for you or your child, we can take care of you at our Long Beach office. We offer flexible appointments too to help you work your orthodontic care into your already busy life.

Call (562) 667-2973 to make an appointment for your consultation with Orthodontics of Long Beach today!


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