Eating Apples with Braces | More Harm than Good?
You just got your braces on, and the first conversation with your orthodontist will likely be about proper care for your teeth with your new, shiny addition. 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 falls on the lists?
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 chew certain foods is harder on your new hardware more than other, more soft foods.
So, does that mean you have to say goodbye to the foods on your orthodontists’ untouchables list? Not necessarily, sometimes it depends on the specific food.
Eating Apples with Braces – Biting versus Chewing
Eating an apple requires biting with your front teeth’s slicing power. Think of the amount of pressure eating a whole apple would place on your braces. Your front teeth alone have the force of 70 pounds! Assuming your braces are located on your front teeth, those front braces would take most of this apple-biting pressure.
“There is a huge difference between chewing and biting.” Chewing food requires use of the back teeth – like when eating a grape, for instance. Chewing, rather than biting, is easier with braces. This is because the pressure when chewing is between the bottom and top back teeth, 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 mean you have to remove apples from your diet altogether.
How to Eat Apples with Braces
According to Dr. Thomas Redd, DDS, “We love patients that eat healthy, but some care is needed. Eating an apple whole utilizes a slicing motion on the front teeth (incisors) that can result in broken brackets. It’s always best to slice them prior to eating them.”
Slicing apples before eating them will remove the pressure from your front teeth since the cutting is already done. Take this one step further by chopping your apple slices. This creates smaller pieces to eat in one bite.
Alternative Options for Eating Apples with Braces
After getting braces put on, or after getting them adjusted, your teeth will hurt. Unfortunately, this is part of the process of straightening them into place. Should your teeth be experiencing pain, , and you’re craving an apple, try some good old’ fashioned unsweetened apple sauce. 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 a 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 harder 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 primary job! An apple a day won’t keep your orthodontist away, but bite-sized pieces can help.