Often times, traditional metal braces and Invisalign may help or cause a patient to lose weight. If you have traditional metal braces, you know that brushing and flossing your teeth isn’t as easy as it used to be. However, it is still important to do so every time you eat. You may be tempted to eat less meals or snacks so that you don’t have to clean your teeth as often.
In 2021, the diets of many orthodontic patients have changed for a number of reasons. No longer is it as easy to go out and get a healthy sit down meal at your favorite restaurant. Many parts of the United States have seen grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants with limited hours. We strongly encourage our patients, and you, to maintain a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables and a balance of carbs, proteins and fats. With metal braces, eating some fruits, vegetables and meats can be a problem. Eating beef jerky or an apple may be too much of a hassle causing you to simply not eat at all. Or, you may eat much less.
There are also certain foods that you may no longer be able to eat because of the wires and brackets in your mouth. Some examples of these foods include chewy foods like bagels and French breads, crunchy foods such as chips and thick pretzels, and sticky foods such as gummy candies and caramels. Popcorn is always a challenge as well. Due to the fact that you are not eating the same foods, you may find that you have a loss of appetite. This changes depending on eating habits.
If you are undergoing an Invisalign treatment plan, you may also eat less. This is because while Invisalign aligners can be removed for eating, they must be worn for at least 22 hours a day. This only gives you 2 hours each day to eat all of your meals and snacks. If you don’t want to prolong your treatment, you’ll likely make it a priority to keep your aligners in your mouth for 22 hours.
You may also reduce the amount of sugary beverages you consume such as alcohol, soda, and other drinks. These types of sweet and tasty drinks often cause sugar to be trapped in your aligners. Lastly, Invisalign may encourage you to make healthier meal and snack options if you’re not eating as often.
The short answer is, traditional metal braces and Invisalign can adjust your eating habits causing you to consume less calories and lose weight. Remember, weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you consume. If you are running 15 miles a day, you can consume 3000 calories and still lose weight. If you are watching Netflix and looking at Instagram, eating 3000 calories will cause you to gain weight. For those interested in how many calories one can consume and lose weight find a weight loss calculator here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Braces
What is the best age for braces?
There is no hard and fast answer to this question as it all depends on your unique malocclusion and treatment goals. While the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist at age seven or so, one in five patients is over the age of 21.
What are the different types of braces that exist?
When most people think of braces, they think of metal braces and Invisalign, as these are the most common orthodontic treatments available. However, there are also ceramic braces, self-ligating braces, and other options on the market.
How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces?
It’s important to provide your teeth with the utmost care and attention, when you’re wearing braces and when you’re not. Brush them twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Also, avoid sugary foods as they can increase bacteria growth in your mouth and lead to plaque and cavities. In addition, schedule routine cleanings and checkups with your dentist.
Do braces hurt?
At first, braces (Invisalign and traditional metal ones) may bring you a bit of discomfort because your mouth isn’t used to them. As your teeth, gums, and mouth get used to your braces, however, this discomfort will fade. If discomfort is a top concern, Invisalign is likely a better option as its aligners are made of a flexible, comfortable plastic. Raleigh pediatric dentist Dr. Anne Baker refers many of her patients to our office and they are extremely happy with the comfort of their braces or even more happy when they can get Invisalign.
Will braces interfere with my everyday life?
It depends. If you opt for traditional metal braces, you’ll have to stay away from certain foods as they may get stuck in between your brackets. You’ll also find the need to brush and floss more often.
In the event you choose Invisalign, you’ll be able to remove your aligners every time you eat, drink, floss, brush, or even play a musical instrument or participate in a sport. Most patients find that Invisalign aligners disrupt their lives less than metal braces. Raleigh Female Dentist Anna Gladwell is a strong proponent of Invisalign for her everyday dental patients.
Contact Gladwell Orthodontics
While not every patient with traditional metal braces or Invisalign loses weight, many of them are motivated to limit how much they eat and opt for healthier foods. If you have more questions on weight loss and braces, call us at 919-453-6325.
You can read this page in Spanish here – ¿Los frenillos me ayudarán a perder peso?