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Eating with Braces: Foods to Avoid and Foods to Eat

February 6th, 2023

A girl with braces eating a piece of pizza

Eating with braces can be a bit of a challenge, but it doesn't have to be. With a little bit of planning and some adjustments to your diet, you can still enjoy most of your favorite foods while you're undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

First and foremost, it's important to avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods. These types of foods can cause damage to your braces or even dislodge them. Hard foods like apples and carrots should be cut into small pieces or even grated to make them easier to chew. Sticky foods like hard candy and gum should also be avoided as they can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove.

Can you eat popcorn with braces? It depends on the popcorn. The hard, unpopped kernels are probably bad for your braces, and even the hard hulls of the popped popcorn can get lodged into your braces. You can find hulless popcorn available for sale, and these kinds of popcorn kernels are probably your best bet and fine to eat.

Foods to Eat with Braces

Soft foods, on the other hand, are a great option and “braces-friendly” while you have braces. These include pasta, rice, and mashed potatoes. These foods are easy to chew and won't cause any damage to your braces. 

Soups and stews are also great options as they are easy to eat and can provide you with a variety of nutrients. Eating soft cooked foods is always a great option when wearing braces. (And yes, you can absolutely eat ice cream with braces.)

Another great option for people with braces is to eat raw fruits and vegetables. These foods are crunchy and healthy, but they are also easy to chew and won't damage your braces. You can eat them as is, or you can blend them into a smoothie or juice. Some great options include soft fruits and vegetables like berries, oranges, and cucumbers.

When it comes to protein, you'll want to stick with soft options like fish, chicken, and eggs. These foods are easy to chew and won't damage your braces. Be careful with red meat, as it can be tough and difficult to eat and get caught in the wires of your braces. 

Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are also great options as foods for braces. These foods are easy to eat and can provide you with important nutrients like calcium and protein.

It's also important to keep in mind that while you have braces, you'll need to pay extra attention to your oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing after every meal to remove any food that may have gotten stuck in your braces. You should also make sure to see your orthodontist regularly for check-ups and adjustments.

Eating With Braces Can Still Be Delicious–If You Follow a Few Simple Rules

Eating with braces doesn't have to be difficult. With a little bit of planning and some adjustments to your diet, you can still enjoy all of your favorite foods while you're undergoing orthodontic treatment. Remember to avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods, and opt for soft foods, raw fruits and vegetables, and dairy products. And remember to keep up with your oral hygiene routine while you have braces, it's key to having a successful orthodontic treatment.

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What Are the Best Types of Braces for Kids?

December 4th, 2022

If you hear that your child needs braces, many questions might pop into your head. How will they look? How much will it cost, and what type of children’s braces are best for my child? 

The goal of this article is to put your mind at ease and help you understand the options for child braces that are available to you. Let’s discuss it. 

What Type of Braces are Good for Kids? 

The type of children’s braces you choose will often depend on the severity of the case. There are a number of options available but the one that is right for your child may be different from what is right for another one. 

It’s important though to understand that you do have a say in your children’s dental braces as their parents and your dentist will work with you to develop a plan that makes everyone happy. 

What is the Most Effective Type of Braces? 

Self-ligating braces are considered the most effective types of braces for kids' teeth because they work faster and require less attention over time. 

Treatment should be approximately six months less than with traditional braces which means less trips to the Orthodontist and less adjustments which usually results in more comfort for the patient. 

What Are the 3 Options for Braces? 

Let’s walk through the three options for children’s braces: 

Traditional Metal Braces 

These are your most traditional and well-known type of braces. They’re made using high-grade stainless steel, brackets, and archwires. The materials used are very strong and durable and they’re considered one of the most effective options for dental correction. 

Patients with metal braces are more likely to deal with discomfort because of the pressure put on your child’s teeth but they’re effective and lead to a better smile in the long run. 

Self-Ligating Braces 

Self-ligating braces use the same materials as traditional braces with the exception of elastics. These braces do not require rubber bands which means less adjustment and less pressure on your child’s mouth. 

If you feel that your child might have a hard time dealing with the discomfort of braces, these might be the better option. 

Clear/Ceramic Braces 

Clear or ceramic braces are less visible on the teeth and are a popular choice for teenagers who are concerned with their appearance. 

The look of braces on children's teeth isn’t the most flattering and a self-conscious child might feel a lot better and more confident wearing these.

What are Mini Braces?

Mini braces use the same technology as traditional braces but are simply smaller and less visible than your typical braces. These are used in cases where ceramic braces are not capable of correcting issues and they’re also more affordable. 

Is There an Age Limit for Braces? 

While there is no exact age restriction for braces, the American Academy of Orthodontics recommends that your child visit the Orthodontist around age 7 and if needed, they get braces between the ages of 9 and 14. 

If you have any questions about children’s braces or you’d like to inquire about making an appointment, feel free to contact us today!

Your Ultimate Guide to Braces for Kids

November 1st, 2022

A young girl with blonde hair and glasses smiles to show off her stylish braces.

Seven years. That's the age children should be when they start visiting an orthodontist.

That probably seems a bit young to start thinking about braces. After all, we usually see Junior high kids with brackets and wires in their mouths. But starting early is all about prevention. An orthodontic consultation for kids as young as seven emphasizes function over form and providing a healthy space for adult teeth to erupt and develop and airway.  Think of it like a complimentary yearly check-up — a chance for your orthodontist to catch any underlying issues before they become serious problems.

Even though your child's smile isn't fully developed, your orthodontist can map out a long-term treatment plan to anticipate and get ahead of any challenges caused by overbites, crowded teeth, or alignment issues.  For many parents, this is surprising. After all, it's a screening by an actual orthodontist at no cost to the parent to help oversee development and prevent functional issues from growing unchecked.  Maybe your child is already older than seven years old and is overdue for their first orthodontic consultation.  Good news! It's never too late to get ahead of and prevent future issues!

Our Ultimate Guide to Braces for Kids will walk you through the entire process and fill you in on key details that will make your kid's smile that much brighter.

What are the 5 stages of braces?

The orthodontic process is rather straight-forward, consisting of various treatment options based on what's going on with your kid's teeth. Here's a brief overview of the five phases of braces (fixed appliance orthodontic treatment) so you — and your kids — will know what to expect.

Phase 1: The consultation

This is arguably the easiest part. Your kids' first visit will be relatively simple, with a dental and bite exam followed by a discussion about our shared orthodontic goals. You'll get all the information you need to prepare for any necessary treatment based on the exam results. This is an excellent opportunity to ask any questions you may have and walk through the different options, like traditional kids braces vs. aligner therapy.

Phase 2: The procedure

The next step is getting the braces put on your kid's teeth. The great thing about this part is that it doesn't hurt — no needles, no drills, and no pain. But it does take time to properly prepare the patient, get each bracket positioned correctly, run the wires, and make sure everything is poised for efficiency and accuracy. Length varies, but we recommend blocking out one or two hours, depending on the type of braces your kid will wear.

Phase 3: The follow-ups

Before you leave the office after getting your kid's braces placed, you'll get a full rundown of care. Brushing and flossing are more important with braces, so understanding the proper technique is critical. We'll also discuss the foods that should be considered off-limits until the braces are removed:

  • Chewy candies
  • Popcorn
  • Chewing gum
  • Pretzels and other chips
  • Crackers

Many parents ask how long kids wear braces. The length of time depends on the issues you're trying to fix, but the average is about two years. Between placement and removal, you'll need to do regular visits for tightenings and adjustments.

Phase 4: The removal

Believe us when we say that the wait is absolutely worth it. If all goes well, and your kid's orthodontist has no pressing concerns, the de-banding appointment should come quickly. Removing braces or aligner attachments is painless but can take up to an hour, afterward revealing the stunning results.

Phase 5: The retainer 

For most kids, the use of a retainer will be necessary to ensure their teeth don't digress and slip back into their old positions. Your orthodontist will provide the retainer for you with instructions on use and care. Usually, retainers should be every night, cleaned regularly, and kept in a case when not in use.

Get braces for your kids at Bergen Orthodontics.

At Bergen Orthodontics, our board certified and ivy league trained orthodontists mix our years of experience with a patient-first approach to ensure you and your family have a great experience. Our braces for children are designed with the safest and most durable materials, so you get the results you're looking for.

Contact us for your kid's orthodontal care!

How Often Do You Have to Get Your Braces Tightened

October 11th, 2022

There's just something special about a stunning smile, isn't there? An old adage says a smile is worth a thousand words. This sounds like a silly saying that's been repeated so many times, it longer carries any meaning. But if recent studies are any indication, this is one proverb that's probably true. 

One study found that roughly 73% of Americans are more trusting of someone with a nice smile than nice clothes or cars. Another study found that our natural instinct for facial mimicry makes smiling contagious.

There are other potential benefits, too:

  • Higher self-esteem
  • Improved mood
  • Greater financial success
  • Less stress

So it makes sense that we'd go pretty far in pursuit of the perfect grin. And with braces fitted by a specialized orthodontist, a smile that dazzles isn't just a pipedream. 

But it isn't enough to go through the initial procedure without any follow-up. To get the best results, you need to get your braces tightened fairly regularly.  

Here's everything you need to know about braces tightening.  

How often do braces get tightened?

Braces tightening is critical to the success of your treatment. You'll probably notice that after the braces are set, the wires place significant pressure on your teeth. While this can be mildly painful, that discomfort means the braces are doing their job. Over the next few weeks, that pressure will likely decrease — the brackets might even loosen — so you'll need to get your braces tightened.

No two patients are exactly alike, so frequency here will vary. But as a general rule of thumb, most orthodontists recommend you get your braces tightened or adjusted every 4–10 weeks (about 2 and a half months at the latest). 

What happens if I don't tighten my braces?

Here's the thing about braces tightening: while there's a lot we can predict throughout the treatment, there are also a few question marks. Every mouth is different, which means that any set of teeth or gums may not always respond as expected. 

Chances are you'll wear braces for about two years, leaving a lot of room for change. At one point, your teeth might need additional pressure to keep your treatment on track. Or maybe you'll need to shift how that pressure is applied. There may not be any physical danger or health risks if you don't get your braces tightened, but the treatment will simply stop working without regular adjustments. 

The frequency also depends on the type of braces you wear. 

Braces Tightening at Bergen Orthodontics

At Bergen Orthodontics, we put our patients first by using only the best technology, treatments, and techniques. Some people might think getting braces is too much of a hassle or too painful, but we can assure you it’s nothing like what you imagine. If you're looking for ways to get a show-stopping smile that lights up a room, we can help. 

Visit us to find out how often you should get your braces tightened

jersey choice dentist
Russell M. Sandman DMD, MS
500 Piermont Rd
Closter, NJ 07624
(201) 768-4121