It is common knowledge that people should avoid eating sticky or crunchy foods when they have braces, but what about ketchup, the ultimate partner of many American dishes? Is it safe to eat with braces?
Can I eat ketchup with braces?
Yes, you can eat ketchup with braces. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, just like any other condiments, ketchup when not cleaned properly may get stuck between your braces which leads to plaque build-up and eventually tooth decay.
Secondly, ketchup can contain acidic ingredients. When the acidity level in your mouth is high, it will demineralize the enamel on your teeth which makes them more susceptible to cavities.
How to clean your teeth with braces?
To ensure that you can still enjoy your ketchup without harming your braces or teeth, it is important to clean your teeth thoroughly after each meal. Here are some tips:
Brush your teeth
Be gentle when using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can benefit from brands recommended by your orthodontist. Do not be afraid to brush longer than usual if you feel like there’s some ketchup left between your teeth.
The ideal time to brush your teeth is after each meal. But if you can’t do it right away, at least rinse your mouth with water to remove any ketchup. It must take at least two minutes to totally clean your teeth, so patience is a virtue especially when it comes to cleaning your braces.
To reach those hard-to-clean areas in your mouth, use a mouthwash that contains fluoride. Swish the mouthwash around your teeth and gums for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. A good braces-friendly mouthwash can help remove ketchup residue, fight bacteria, and reduce the risk of cavities.
While flossing with braces may require a little more time, it is still crucial to do it at least once a day. You can use regular floss or a floss threader to get under the wires of your braces. Start by gently flossing above the gum line then down below. Don’t force the floss through as it might damage your gums.
Apart from practicing good oral hygiene, eating healthy food is also important if you have braces. A balanced diet will not only help keep your teeth and gums healthy but will also aid in the alignment of your teeth. So, if you want to have straighter teeth and a healthier mouth, ditch sugary and acidic foods and go for those that are high in calcium and fiber. Ketchup, in this case, can still be part of your diet as long as you eat it in moderation and follow the tips for good oral hygiene.
Ask Your Orthodontist for help
If you’re unsure about something or if you need more tips on how to take care of your braces, don’t hesitate to ask your orthodontist. They would be more than happy to help you out and ensure that you’re on the right track to achieving that perfect smile.
Ketchup may be delicious but remember to take extra care of your teeth and gums to avoid any complications. Clean your teeth thoroughly after each meal, eat healthy foods, and visit your orthodontist regularly to get the most out of your treatment. Practice good oral hygiene habits to enjoy your favorites!