Five Items That Can Help Prevent and Address Food Stuck in your Braces

Posted on: 19 August 2016

If you have braces, you may occasionally face the dreaded reality of having food stuck in them. That can be a bit embarrassing and unsightly, but with the right approach, you can keep stuck food to a minimum and keep your braces-clad smile looking clean and tidy. Here are five things that can help:

1. Bite-Size Snacks

When you first get braces, your orthodontist is likely to give you a long list of foods you should avoid. This may include sticky candies that may get stuck in your braces and hard items such as ice that may break parts of your braces. Unfortunately, however, many items that are not on the list may get stuck in your braces as well. For example, a piece of pizza with a soft crust may end up leaving pieces of bread stuck in your braces.

So that you never have to eat anything that threatens to stick in your braces, pack some bite-sized snacks. As long as the snacks aren't super sticky or hard, they should work. Simply place them in your mouth behind your braces and chew carefully.

2. Bottle of Water

For those times when you just cannot resist biting into something tasty, the food may get into the braces on the teeth you used to bite into the item. A bottle of water can help. Take small bites, and after each bite, take a sip of water. To be really effective, swish around the water a bit before swallowing.

3. Waterpik

At times, you may need a solution that's stronger than just swishing around water. Cue a water pick. A water pick works like a traditional wooden toothpick, but it's gentler on your teeth. However, to use a waterpik, you may want the ability to go somewhere private as you have to shoot jets of water between your teeth and around your braces.

In some cases, a simple wooden toothpick discretely hidden behind your hand may be an easier option.

4. Toothbrush

When trying to remove stuck objects from your teeth, a toothbrush is the most effective option. Carry one with you and use it after all meals and snacks. In a pinch, even a dry toothbrush can be used to dislodge stuck particles.

5. Vaseline

A bit of vaseline on your teeth and braces can also help to prevent food from getting stuck there. This preventative measure is fairly easy to apply, and it creates a barrier. However, you may want to brush the vaseline off after you are done eating.