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Smart Food Choices during Orthodontic Treatment

One of the most common questions Calgary Orthodontists are asked by patients is “what can I eat while I’m wearing braces”.  Well the good news is that there’s lots of opportunity to enjoy meals and snacks during orthodontic treatment and that the foods you may be asked to avoid are often not the most nutritious, so it doesn’t hurt to avoid them regardless of whether you are wearing braces or not. Dr. Cory Liss is a NW Calgary and Airdrie Orthodontist who understands that orthodontic treatment shouldn’t take all the fun out of food, and helps patients enjoy mealtimes by providing some tips on making smart food choices.  Orthodontic Braces and Wires are made of various non-magnetic materials that consist of stainless steel, ceramic, titanium, porcelain and plastic.  Though these materials are proven to provide the ideal amount of strength to move teeth – they don’t always hold-up as well against a Tootsie Roll or Jaw Breaker.  Orthodontic Braces and Appliances move teeth by applying a pre-established amount of controlled force to specific teeth over a certain time period.  Too much force creates inflammation and actually hampers tooth movement – too little force accomplishes very little and can leave patients with incomplete treatment.  Orthodontic brackets are strategically placed on teeth to create the desired force effect once the orthodontic wire is placed – the two work together to develop correct arch alignment and tooth position.  Chewing also creates force on teeth and orthodontic materials – and when certain foods are being chewed the force can become too great – resulting in a broken bracket and wire. Biting in to food like nuts, corn on the cob, raw uncut vegetables and ice cubes can cause damage to your braces or appliance.  But that’s not the only type of food that can cause an unexpected trip to a Calgary Orthodontist – sticky food like toffee, licorice, caramels and chewing gum can also cause wires to pop out of place and decay to form around brackets.  Orthodontic Braces provide the perfect environment for sticky food to hang around on teeth – increasing the risk of gum inflammation and tooth decay.  Brushing after eating ensures that all food remnants are removed and sugary residue is cleaned from tooth surfaces – but avoiding high sugar, sticky and really hard foods in the first place also contributes to avoiding orthodontic emergencies and tooth decay. But we also mentioned that there a lots of foods that can be enjoyed during orthodontic treatment – and that includes fun food like dessert.  Here’s one of our favorite recipes for Pumpkin Pie – a great choice due to its soft texture but yummy flavor.  Try it out – or better yet, post your favorite ‘orthodontic friendly’ recipe on our Facebook page. Cory Liss Orthodontics Pumpkin Pie Recipe 3 eggs 1½ cups of dark brown sugar 1½ cups of white sugar 1 tablespoon flour 1½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice 3 teaspoons cinnamon 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin 1½ cups of heated evaporated milk 1 preformed pie shell Instructions: 1. Mix flour, eggs, sugar, salt, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, mashed pumpkin and evaporated milk in a bowl 2. Spoon mix into shell 3. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes Quantity: Makes 6-8 servings