It’s finally the day your mouth is graced with braces! The first conversation with your orthodontist will likely be about proper care for your new, shiny dental tool. The second conversation will most likely discuss the foods you can (but mostly can’t) eat. If you had to guess, where do you think eating apples with braces falls on the list?
Many of the foods on your orthodontist’s “Do Not Eat” list are there because of their textures and hardness. The increased pressure needed to bite into certain foods stresses your new hardware more than other, more malleable foods.
However, apples and other hard foods can be enjoyed with a little preparation. Check out some tips and tricks for eating apples with braces.
Eating apples with braces – biting versus chewing
Biting into an apple requires intense pressure from your incisors. Incisors are the top four and bottom four teeth that are located at the front of your mouth. Biting into a hard fruit, such as an apple, 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 more cooperative with braces. This is because the pressure when chewing 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 with 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 slices. This creates more manageable pieces to eat.
Alternative options for eating apples with braces
After getting braces put on, or after getting them adjusted, your teeth will likely be sore. Unfortunately, this is part of the process of straightening them into place. If your teeth are experiencing pain, but you can’t live without your apple fix, try some good old fashioned unsweetened applesauce. It doesn’t require biting or chewing and would be the safest option for your braces.
Don’t forget to brush and floss! Smaller pieces of apple can still 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 with braces?
Any fruit or vegetable that crunches when you bite into it is not recommended with braces. As with apples, though, hard foods can be cut up into smaller, bite-sized pieces and eaten with braces! These include:
- Other hard fruits and vegetables
As a rule of thumb, consult with your orthodontist to establish a list of foods that should not be eaten with 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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*Updated September 2022