Can You Eat Pizza with Braces? Here’s What You Need to Know
Do you love pizza but are worried about damaging your dental braces? You’re not sure if you can eat pizza with braces? Good news! You can still enjoy one of your favorite foods without compromising your orthodontic treatment. However, it’s essential to understand the types of food that can damage your braces and learn how to eat pizza in a way that maintains good oral health.
Before we begin: this article is not intended to provide medical advice. Always ask your orthodontist if you’re unsure if a type of food is safe to eat with braces.
What Are Dental Braces?
Dental braces are orthodontic appliances that straighten teeth and improve oral health. Traditional metal braces include brackets, archwires, and tightening metal wires to apply pressure to the teeth. Clear aligners are an alternative option to metal braces that use clear plastic aligners that fit over the teeth. No matter your braces, taking proper care of your braces and teeth is essential to avoid complications during your braces treatment.
Choose the Right Type of Food
Pizza and other types of food can damage your braces because food particles can get stuck between the metal wires and brackets, making them harder to clean. Sticky foods like caramel, bubble gum, and hard candies can pull the brackets off your teeth, while hard foods like potato chips, hard cookies, and bread can bend the wires. Acidic food like sports drinks, tomato sauce, and high-acid condiments can cause white spots on your teeth or lead to tooth decay.
If you have new braces, it’s best to avoid pizza rolls, chicken wings, French fries, crispy chicken, or hard candy. These types of food put more pressure on the braces, and you’re more likely to damage them. Thin-crust pizza and deep-dish pizza can also damage your braces because of their harder crusts. However, the good news is that you can still enjoy pizza by making good choices.
Which Type of Pizza Should You Avoid With Braces?
It’s best to avoid crunchy crusts and sticky toppings when eating pizza with braces. Hard cheese and toppings like hard vegetables can put a lot of pressure on the braces. Sticky toppings, like cheesy pizza, can get stuck between the metal wires and brackets, making it harder to clean your teeth.
Instead, go for soft toppings like soft vegetables (for example, red peppers, sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes, and caramelized onions), soft cheeses like feta, ricotta, and goat cheese. If you like meat as a pizza topping, go for cooked meat like grilled chicken or crumbled sausage. Opt for softer crust pizza whenever possible.
The key here is to think of “soft foods.” If you’re worried about getting pizza stuck in your braces, consider taking smaller bites or cutting the pizza into smaller pieces. That way, you can enjoy your favorite food without compromising oral health.
How Soon Can You Eat Pizza After You Start Wearing Braces?
After getting braces, your teeth may be sensitive for the first week. It’s best to avoid hard and chewy foods during this time. If you crave “fun foods”, go for softer foods like soft bread, soft fruits, hot dogs, or soft ice cream. This is the kind of food that will allow your teeth to adjust to the braces. You can then start incorporating harder foods into your diet, including pizza.
How to Eat Pizza with Braces: A Step-by-Step Guide
It is essential to take little care when eating pizza. Take smaller bites, chew slowly, and avoid putting too much pressure on the braces. Again, always ask your orthodontist if you’re unsure if a type of food is safe to eat with braces. Still, enjoying your favorite food while maintaining good oral hygiene is possible. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to eat pizza with braces.
- First and foremost: choose a soft crust. It’s always recommended to avoid hard crusts. As mentioned earlier, a thin pizza crust tends to be crispy, which could be harder to chew with braces.
- Cut the pizza into small pieces. This makes it easier to chew the pizza without putting too much pressure on the braces.
- Take small bites and chew slowly. This helps to avoid getting food stuck in your braces.
- Avoid chewy toppings. Opt for soft-crust pizza with soft toppings instead.
- Drink water while eating. This helps to wash away food particles and keep your mouth clean.
- Floss and brush your teeth after eating pizza. This helps to remove any food particles that may be stuck in your braces.
Pizza and other hard and crunchy foods can crack or warp your braces. If you notice any loose brackets or bent wires after eating pizza, it’s essential to contact your orthodontist immediately. Delaying treatment can result in a more prolonged braces treatment or damage to your teeth.
How Do You Know if Braces Are Damaged as a Result of Eating Pizza?
Your braces may be damaged if you experience discomfort or pain after eating pizza. Signs of damaged braces include loose brackets or wires, irritation or cuts inside your mouth, or pain when biting down. Sometimes, you may notice a broken wire, a bent bracket, or a missing rubber band. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. Delaying treatment can result in a more extended braces treatment or damage your teeth.
Pizza is one of the most delicious foods, and the good news is that you can still enjoy it while wearing braces. You can maintain good oral hygiene and enjoy delicious meals by making good choices and properly caring for your braces and teeth.
Talk to your orthodontist if you’re unsure which food is safe with braces. They can advise which foods to avoid and which foods are good options. You can maintain a healthy body and a beautiful smile throughout your braces treatment with some care and attention.