Orthodontic treatment is an investment of both time and money. The average treatment process lasts up to three years, which can present challenges when the patient has a sweet tooth. Even the most disciplined person is likely to crave a candy bar while wearing braces and may think that eating candy just one time will not do any harm. The reality is that even one piece of candy can reverse months of progress. Those who are considering braces Gilbert AZ should read on to learn more about candy and orthodontics.
Why Sugar is Bad
Sugar is a carbohydrate that can harm or destroy teeth when it combines with acidic oral bacteria. Candy contains high amounts of sugar, that creates a threat for those who wear any type of braces. The wires, bands, and brackets of metal braces compound the problem because they cannot be easily removed like plastic aligners. This means that regular consumption of candy while wearing metal braces makes the development of tooth decay a certainty, and it is best to just not give in to temptation. In addition, the type of candy makes no difference because there is always sugar involved, and it has many places to hide with braces. The longer it is allowed to accumulate and sit in the mouth, the more problems it causes. Chewy candies and hard candies also cause stress to the teeth when they are bitten into, which may cause wires and brackets to pop off and require repair at the orthodontist's office.
A sweet tooth is difficult to say no to. Research has suggested that sugar may have addictive qualities, which makes it hard to quit completely, even while wearing braces. There are some safer foods that can be consumed during orthodontic treatment that do not cause the harm of candy:
• Dark chocolate. While this type of chocolate does contain some sugar, it is vastly less than a typical candy bar. Dark chocolate also contains fiber and magnesium, which are good for the body.
• Cookies. Eaten in moderation, cookies are safer for braces than candy.
• Ice cream. This food not only tastes good, it is soothing for inflamed gums.
• Milkshakes and smoothies. The residue from these tasty drinks can be easily rinsed away afterward.
• Sugar-free gum. Aside from not containing sugar, it keeps the mouth busy and also reduces calorie intake by not eating candy and other snack foods.
The Robison Orthodontics office is always ready to answer questions about braces Gilbert AZ. Call today for a consultation.