Nobody wants to have a wire or bracket pop loose! But it happens to the best of us. Fortunately, knowing what might damage your braces can help you sidestep mishaps most of the time. Let’s talk about 5 things not to do with braces so you can avoid emergency trips to the orthodontist.

1. Eat Chewy, Sticky, Crunchy, or Hard Foods

On the top of our list of things not to do with braces is eating chewy, sticky, crunchy, or hard foods. It is a simple mistake, but eating foods that fall into these categories is a top reason for emergency visits to the orthodontist for repairs.

Many orthodontists keep a list of foods that are best avoided that they can print out and share with you. Ask for this list if you don’t have it already! And keep copies of it handy on your fridge, in school backpacks, and anywhere else you might need to reference it to ensure that the foods you eat are safe for your braces.

2. Bite into an Apple, Bagel, or Corn on the Cob

Foods that require biting into can also cause problems for braces-wearers. To avoid putting excessive stress on your braces, cut or tear these foods into smaller bite-sized pieces before enjoying them to help make them safer.

3. Play Risky Sports without a Mouthguard

Playing sports with braces that pose a risk of contact with other participants, falling, or trauma to the face is another common way that our patients’ braces get broken. Wearing a mouthguard is important because not only can it protect your braces from damage, it can also protect your teeth from getting chipped, broken, or knocked out, as well.

4. Skip Brushing or Flossing

Another big “don’t” when you have braces: don’t neglect your oral hygiene! Taking good care of your teeth is always important, but when you have braces it becomes extra important to make sure that bacteria and plaque don’t build up in all the extra nooks and crannies that braces add. You want your smile to look it’s very best at the end of your orthodontic treatment and keeping up a routine of brushing after each meal and flossing each day can help to ensure that!

5. Repair Your Braces at Home

Last but not least on our list of things not to do with braces: in the event that your braces do get broken, don’t try to repair them at home! Attempting repairs yourself can lead to even more problems. We’re here to help! Call your orthodontist right away and we’ll make your braces as good as new as quickly as possible.

Call our Woodward Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.