How to Stop Getting Food Stuck In Your Braces
Braces eventually lead to straighter teeth, so they should be worth whatever you go through when you have them. That doesn't mean you can't be annoyed by things like food getting stuck in the braces, though, which is a common issue that everyone with braces deals with. There's not much you can do to stop food from being temporarily stuck on your braces as you eat, so what you want to concentrate on is ensuring that food doesn't stay stuck in your braces for much longer once you're done eating. You can take a number of steps to reduce the chances of finding bits of today's lunch in your braces.
Smaller Pieces Mean Less Chewing and Less Contact
First, cut your food into smaller pieces, and don't bite into foods; cut up sandwiches into bite-size pieces. Yes, it seems odd, but the less you have to chew something, the less time your teeth are in contact with the food. That means there's less chance of the food lodging right in your braces or under the wires.
Eat Fewer Sticky Foods, but Still Be Careful With Non-sticky Foods
Sticky and non-sticky foods alike can get stuck in your braces, but sticky foods can be more difficult to deal with just because of that stickiness. You can't avoid these foods totally, but try to adjust your diet so that you're eating fewer sticky foods like pasta and more non-sticky foods like toasted bread. Luckily, most sticky foods are also sweet foods that you should cut down on to begin with.
Drink Water When You Eat
Whenever you eat, drink some water as well. That water helps keep food moving along and can wash away food that's gotten stuck to your teeth and braces. Tea and coffee should work, too, but keep in mind that these can stain your teeth if you drink a lot of them. And, if the coffee or tea is sweetened, you'd be exposing your teeth to more sugar. Water is best; just sip it as you eat to help wash down the food.
Brush Your Teeth More Often
After you've drunk water and chewed carefully, the next step is to brush your teeth, along with flossing and rinsing out with more water (using mouthwash is fine in general, but you don't want to overdo it and use it after each brushing session if you're brushing after all meals and snacks; in that case, rinse with water most of the time and use mouthwash only according to the bottle directions or your orthodontist's instructions). Brushing will help remove food particles caught in your braces, and floss and threaders will help remove even more.
Getting food stuck in your braces is very annoying, especially if you have trouble getting it unstuck. If you're having a real problem with food getting caught, let your orthodontist know. It's possible that a part of your braces needs to be adjusted.
Contact an orthodontist for information about getting braces in your area.