When you get braces, one of the first conversations you’ll have with your orthodontist will be about proper care for them—including what you can and cannot eat. Where do you think eating apples falls on the list?
Many of the foods on your orthodontist’s “Do Not Eat” list are there because of texture and hardness. Why? The increased pressure needed to bite into certain foods stresses your new hardware more than other malleable foods.
However, apples and other hard foods can be enjoyed with a little preparation.
Eating apples when you have braces – Biting vs. Chewing
Biting into an apple requires intense pressure from your incisors (the top four and bottom four teeth at the front of your mouth). Biting into hard foods, (such as apples,) requires some serious power. Assuming your braces are on your incisors, those front braces would take the brunt of this apple-biting pressure.
Chewing food, however, requires use of the back molars. Chewing, rather than biting, is easier on braces because the pressure is exerted between the bottom and top molars, rather than against a tooth’s brace.
Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get your daily apple fix. Having braces doesn’t necessarily mean you have to remove apples from your diet altogether.
How to eat apples when you have braces
Slicing apples before eating them will remove the pressure from your incisors since the cutting has already been done. Take this one step further by chopping your apple slicesinto more manageable pieces to eat.
Alternative options for eating apples when you have braces
After getting braces, or after having them adjusted, your teeth will likely be sore. Unfortunately, this is part of the process . If you are experiencing pain, but can’t live without your apples, try some good old-fashioned unsweetened applesauce. It doesn’t require biting or chewing and is the safest option for your braces.
Check out some other tips for eating apples when you have braces.
Don’t forget to brush and floss! Smaller pieces of apple can get lodged inside your braces.
*Sliced apple tip to prevent browning: Packing apples for lunch or mid-day snack? After slicing, dip sliced apples into a mixture of three-parts water, one-part lemon juice to prevent browning over the course of a day.
What other hard fruits and vegetables can I eat when I have braces?
Orthodontists usually don’t recommend eating any fruit or vegetable that crunches when you bite into it when you have braces. As with apples, though, hard foods such as carrots, radishes, celery, and others, can be cut into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
As a rule of thumb, ask your orthodontist for a list of foods that should not be eaten when you have braces. After all, you want to keep your braces in the best shape possible so they can do their job. An apple a day won’t keep your orthodontist away, but bite-sized pieces can help.
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