Clear braces are an excellent alternative to traditional metal braces for both teens and adults. This orthodontic option combines the customization and power of metal braces with the subtlety of clear aligners.
Like traditional braces, clear braces use brackets on each tooth and wires to push and pull teeth into place. However, clear braces use brackets and other parts that are nearly invisible to most people.
Another way that clear braces are like traditional braces is that there are restrictions on what you can eat while you have them. Eating the wrong foods can cause the braces to break or become discolored.
Foods That Can Break Clear Braces
Unlike clear aligner trays, clear braces stay on while you eat. As such, you have to be extra careful to only eat foods that are safe for braces. In general, the foods that people with traditional metal braces must avoid are forbidden for those with clear braces as well.
If you have traditional or clear braces, it’s best to avoid foods such as:
- Gum and chewy candies
- Pretzels, crackers, and crunchy chips
- Ice (fine in a drink, just don’t chew it)
- Fruits and vegetables that are extremely crunchy
- Nuts and seeds
This list is not exhaustive. In general, avoid foods that are particularly chewy and hard. Furthermore, small seeds and popcorn kernels can get caught in the braces.
What To Do If Your Braces Break
Even for the most careful patients, accidents happen. You may bite into something and find an unexpectedly hard piece. You could think something was safe, only to find out the hard way that it’s not. Or, you could get hurt while playing a sport or through some other accident. It happens; try not to worry too much.
There are two main goals if something on your clear braces breaks: minimize pain and keep the braces as in-tact as possible. Depending on your pain levels, you may need ice or over-the-counter pain medications to help. Some people feel no pain at all when their brackets break. It all depends on the person and the kind of break.
If the bracket is at all attached to the tooth, you can gently try to slide it back into place. It’s best to use a cotton swab or another gentle item to do this. Something hard or sharp could cause more problems.
As soon as possible, call your orthodontist for more instructions. They will schedule an appointment to fix the damage.
Foods That Can Discolor Clear Braces
Clear braces are particularly vulnerable to discoloration. While most brackets are made from stain-resistant materials, certain foods can cause discoloration. This defeats the purpose of clear braces and can cause the patient to feel self-conscious.
To be safe, avoid foods with a lot of dark color in them, such as:
- Red juices and wines
- Black tea
- Tomato products
- Yellow mustard
- Products with artificial dyes
- Dark sodas
When in doubt, think of your clear braces as a fresh, white t-shirt. If you spilled this food or drink on that t-shirt, how hard would it be to get that stain out? The harder that would be, the more likely it is to stain the braces.
Clear Braces in Maplewood, NJ
Marigold Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is proud to provide many options for our patients who need braces. For some people, clear braces are the best choice because they offer the best of both worlds. If you’re considering clear braces for your child, request an appointment today.
We will help your family throughout your braces journey and make sure you know how to care for the braces. If an accident does occur, we will be here to help.