Eating on-the-run can be troublesome. In the morning, grabbing a bagel or a sugary donut is much easier than making an omelette. But taking the time to plan and prepare what you’re eating for lunch is very important for both your oral and overall health, especially if you’re wearing braces or an orthodontic appliance. Whether you’re planning your own lunch, or you’re making lunch for your kids to take to school, we here at Horner Barrow Orthodontics would like you to keep these three smile- and braces-friendly lunch tips in mind.
1. Ditch The Troublemakers
Chewy, sticky, sweet foods like gummy candies or dried fruits such as raisins (or Craisins) can be really bad for your teeth because they stick! To satisfy that sweet tooth, choose sliced fresh fruit or even a little bit of dark chocolate.
Processed, starchy crackers or chips can cause problems. Once chewed, they can stick to your teeth and convert into sugars very quickly. Pack healthy, whole-grain snack options instead—or even better, choose healthy nuts or seeds (just nothing too hard!).
2. Rethink What You Drink
Sodas and sports drinks are poor beverage options for healthy teeth, and they’re definitely NOT recommended while you’re wearing braces. Many fruit juices are loaded with sugar and acid, as well. Consider milk or water instead. Chocolate milk may be a good option, too. It offers protein and almost half of your daily calcium intake.
3. Choose Natural Tooth Scrubbers
There are certain foods that actually help your teeth. For example, cheese and yogurt can cut the acidity making something like fruit juice a little less harmful. Plus, there are great fruits and vegetables that scrub or clean your teeth when you eat them and help get rid of those built-up sugars and starches from your lunch. These foods include apples, celery, carrots, cucumbers, and pears.
Having a hard time eating these foods now that you’re wearing braces? Simply cut them up into small, bite-size pieces.
And, always remember to pack your toothbrush and toothpaste, and be sure to brush after you’re finished eating that healthy lunch!