Do Braces Make You Lose Weight? the Real Side effects

young black woman wearing braces

As a teenager, there are few milestones as impactful as finally getting braces. After years of looking enviously at your peers flashing shiny wires and brackets, that day finally arrives when your parents relent and schedule an appointment with the orthodontist. You excitedly pick out colorful elastics and bands, imagining how straight and perfect your smile will be once the treatment is complete. 

young black woman wearing braces

However, you may not realize the various lifestyle adjustments that come with those braces. From figuring out the right foods to eat without breaking your wires to dealing with the discomfort as your teeth start to shift, plenty of new challenges accompany that long-awaited trip to the orthodontist’s chair. But the question is, do braces make you lose weigh and How much can you lose? Let’s find out!

Do Braces Make You Lose Weight?

But along with the anticipated transformations to your dental health and appearance, you may wonder if wearing braces could support other potential benefits like weight loss. After all, braces often require adjusting your diet and chewing habits. 

You might have heard stories of individuals losing a few pounds while undergoing orthodontic treatment. While it’s important to have realistic expectations about the impact braces may have on weight, there is a possibility you will lose weight too. Why and how?

  • Temporary Appetite Reduction During Adjustments

The first few days after getting braces attached or tightened are often the most uncomfortable. The pressure from new wires and brackets can cause irritation, soreness, and tenderness in the gums, teeth, and jaws. Read Here: Can You Lose Weight By Wearing A Waist Beds?

The initial discomfort can severely reduce appetite, making it difficult to chew and swallow solid foods. Most patients naturally eat much less during this short adjustment period. The combination of soft food diets often recommended by orthodontists and reduced desire to eat typically leads to minor weight loss over the first few days. 

However, this initial discomfort gradually subsides over the first week as teeth and gums adjust to the braces. As sensitivity decreases and chewing improves, appetite and calorie intake typically return to pre-brace levels. So any weight lost during those first uncomfortable days is likely regained as treatment continues.

  • Avoidance of High-Calorie, Low-Nutrition “Problem” Foods

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends avoiding sticky foods like caramel and taffy, hard foods like crunchy chips and nuts, and chewy foods like gum and raw carrots. These are often highly processed, calorie-dense convenience options with minimal nutritional value. 

While braces patients are not placed on formal weight loss diets, the unintended reduction or elimination of these high-calorie, low-nutrition “problem” foods can promote modest weight loss over time. However, plenty of nutritious braces-friendly foods remain, like soups, stews, yogurt, and mashed potatoes. 

Patients need not feel deprived by focusing on these options and adding back some “treat” foods once braces have been in for several months. This balanced approach, combined with an appropriate calorie intake, is conducive to stable weight and optimal oral health. Can Sleeping With A Waist Bed Help You Lose Weight?

  • Smaller Bites and Slower Chewing Forces Intuitive Calorie Control

The presence of brackets, wires, and other orthodontic appliances in the mouth can physically restrict bite size for many people. This instinctively leads to taking smaller bites of food and chewing more cautiously and deliberately. Read Here: Is Losing weight by Drinking Alkaline Water Healthy?

Over multiple meals, the cumulative effect of consuming even slightly smaller portions can translate into ingesting fewer daily calories without much conscious thought. 

Combined with the natural inclination to chew more slowly, this intuitive means of “portion control” facilitated by braces can promote gradual weight loss over time. However, individual factors like metabolism, exercise habits, and willpower also strongly influence the potential for weight changes. Braces alone are not a reliable weight loss method for most patients.

  • Increased Awareness of Food Choice

Having braces often serves as a helpful reminder to pay closer attention to the nutritional qualities of the consumed foods. Knowing that many high-calorie, sticky, and crunchy options are unsuitable while wearing braces can prompt patients to gravitate toward healthier alternatives like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. 

This heightened awareness of nutrition driven by orthodontic treatment represents an opportunity to develop and maintain lifelong healthy eating habits conducive to ideal weight and oral health.

However, braces alone without a comprehensive and balanced lifestyle program encompassing nutrition and exercise are insufficient to produce meaningful, sustainable weight loss for most patients.

Can Braces Make You Slimmer

The short answer is that while braces can potentially help with minor, temporary weight loss, they are not an effective stand-alone solution for meaningful or sustainable weight reduction. Any weight loss achieved while wearing braces will likely be modest and short-lived without substantial lifestyle changes.

Braces alone cannot be relied upon to “make you lose weight.” At best, they may unintentionally promote tiny calorie deficits through temporary appetite suppression during initial adjustments, avoidance of some incompatible high-calorie foods, and smaller bites out of necessity. 

But these effects are too minuscule and inconsistent to result in significant, lasting weight loss for the average person. The human body has powerful drives to maintain a certain weight set point determined by factors far beyond orthodontic appliances. Read: The Real Side Effects Of Vaping: Can You Really Lose Weight?

If weight loss is one of your goals in getting braces, you will be disappointed. Braces are primarily designed to correct the position of teeth and jaws, not serve as a diet aid. For lasting weight management success, a comprehensive approach must be taken to address diet, exercise, behavior, and any potential help from braces. 

But braces alone will not make you lose substantial amounts of weight – at best; they may nudge you towards slightly healthier choices and temporary minor reductions. With proper patience and perseverance, long-term lifestyle changes are a much more reliable path to weight loss and maintenance.

So while some anecdotal stories exist of individuals coincidentally losing weight while wearing braces, this outcome is not common or guaranteed. Braces should be viewed as a tool for improving oral health and function, not a quick fix for weight loss issues requiring real lifestyle modifications.

What are the Potential side effects of wearing braces?

Many people wonder if wearing braces could potentially help with weight loss as a secondary effect. After all, you have to adjust your diet and eating habits after you get braces. 

However, relying solely on braces to facilitate meaningful weight reduction involves inherent pitfalls and limitations that render this approach largely ineffective for most patients. They include:

  • Temporary Effects are Unsustainable

Any weight loss achieved while wearing braces will likely be minor and short-lived. The appetite suppression and smaller bites experienced during initial adjustments are temporary. 

As teeth align and appliances become less noticeable, eating habits return to normal. Without permanent changes to diet and lifestyle, most weight lost during treatment will be regained. Braces alone cannot sustain weight management over the long term.

  • No Formal Diet Plans Are Recommended

Orthodontists do not advise patients to use braces as a weight loss tool. They simply recommend avoiding hard or sticky foods that could damage appliances. Patients are not placed on formal calorie-restricted diet plans. Without proper diet plans, achieving meaningful weight loss through braces alone is difficult.

  • Individual Factors Dominate Weight Regulation

Factors like metabolism, lifestyle, genetics, and willpower greatly influence weight regulation more than braces. For most people, any weight changes while wearing braces are likely insignificant compared to the impact of these individual factors. Braces alone cannot overcome a person’s genetic predisposition or slow metabolism.

  • Lack of Exercise Still Impacts Weight

Braces do not directly affect a person’s ability to exercise and be physically active. Braces alone cannot produce significant weight loss for most individuals without incorporating increased activity into a weight management plan. Regular exercise remains essential for lasting weight control.

  • Risk of Unhealthy Eating Behaviors

Some patients turn to unhealthy eating habits while wearing braces due to the limitations they impose. This includes bingeing on soft, high-calorie foods or drastically cutting entire food groups. Such disordered eating patterns are inherently unsustainable and may exacerbate weight regulation issues over time. Orthodontists do not recommend these behaviors.

Conclusion

Can wearing braces help with weight loss? While braces may lead to minor, temporary weight loss through reduced appetite during initial adjustment and avoiding sticky or crunchy foods, relying solely on braces for meaningful long-term weight loss is largely ineffective. Lasting weight management requires permanent changes to diet, exercise, and lifestyle – braces alone cannot generate enough of a calorie deficit or sustain changes over time to result in substantial weight loss for most people.

Medical Discalimer: The information provided here On Geeks Health website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have or suspect a medical problem, promptly contact your healthcare provider. Reliance on any information in this response is solely at your own risk.
Vanessa Roberts
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