7 Things You Must Never Do While Wearing Braces

Braces are perhaps the most well-known orthodontic treatment. Wearing them is a rite of passage for many teenagers, and braces are even popular with adults. Even though conventional braces are extremely durable, it’s important to treat them with care. After all, it’s not fun to make an emergency trip to the orthodontist to replace a damaged bracket. Here are the top things you shouldn’t do while wearing braces.

  1. Skip Flossing

Dentists recommend all patients floss at least once a day, but many forget this critical step in their dental hygiene routine. Braces wearer are especially guilty. However, just because it may be difficult to floss with braces doesn’t mean you should skip it. Flossing removes bacteria and prevents both cavities and gum disease. Take enough time to carefully floss between every tooth.

  1. Chew on Ice

Braces or not, chewing on ice is bad for teeth. Excessive ice chewing can lead to chipped or cracked teeth, and it can weaken enamel over time. Even worse, biting down on a hard piece of ice may put enough force on your braces to break a bracket or bend a wire. If you find yourself craving ice around the clock, you may have pagophagia. Visit a doctor to rule out any underlying nutritional deficiencies to help you resist the urge to eat ice.

  1. Eat Hard or Chewy Foods

Braces wearers may need to make some adjustments to their diet. Eating hard foods, such as pretzels or nuts, may damage your braces. Overly chewy foods, like bagels and tough steak, can get stuck in the brackets. Consuming these foods may put too much stress on the bands and wires. The wrong foods can even push your braces out of alignment.

  1. Drink Sugary Beverages

It’s well-known that sugar causes tooth decay. Even without orthodontics, carbonated and acidic beverages can harm tooth enamel or cause staining. When you add braces into the mix, rinsing away sugary substances becomes even more challenging. That’s why braces wearers should think twice before opening a can of soda.

  1. Pretend Teeth Are Tools

Teeth help people chew and speak, and those are the only jobs they should do. Too many people, however, treat their teeth as tools. Trying to open a bottle, tear into a plastic bag, or fix a broken fingernail may cause serious damage to your braces. Even worse, you could end up chipping or fracturing a tooth.

  1. Take a Blow to the Face

Being hit in the face is a surefire way to break brackets or bend wires. Sure, most people don’t actively seek out fights, but many people do participate in contact sports. If you have braces, you don’t want to get tackled during a football game or whacked by a hockey puck. However, you can still play your favorite sports. Just be sure to have your orthodontist make you a protective mouthguard to wear.

  1. Skip Orthodontist Appointments

According to, braces treatment varies from patient to patient. Depending on the complexity of your case, you may require more frequent adjustments than someone else. Although tempting, skipping any appointments could affect your treatment plan. The orthodontist will check your progress to make sure they don’t need to change anything. Every checkup serves a purpose, and you need to show up to them all.

Braces remain one of the most popular ways to fix tooth spacing, crowding, malocclusion, and other dental issues. Patients should take care of their braces to ensure their treatment stays on course. Even though there are several things you can’t do with braces, there is still plenty you can. Remember to brush regularly, and before you know it, you’ll be showing off a perfectly straight smile.

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