A Simple Guide to Eating with Braces

 We recently delved into the world of orthodontics and explored how to care for your braces.  Certainly, any foreign objects in our mouths are going to be uncomfortable, at least for the first few days while we get used to them. 

The next logical questions, and ones that we get asked a lot, revolve around eating with braces. What can we eat, what should we eat, and what do we need to avoid?

Eating with Braces

Knowing what not to eat and why will go a long way towards a problem-free treatment. After all, we want our beautiful straight smile in place as soon as possible, don’t we?

Foods to Avoid

Common sense tells us that foods that are hard on our teeth without braces are going to be even worse with. Think about the foods that you love that may fall into this category.

Hard foods such as boiled sweets, suckers, carrots, and apples require a little more force to bite into and chew. Pretzels, hard toast, and tacos will also likely bend the wires of your braces or loosen the bands. Softer meats such as burgers or schnitzels are a better choice than steak, ribs, or anything on the bone.

Chewy foods such as toffees, liquorice, bagels, and gum should be avoided completely. These stick to your newly installed braces and will simply pull them apart as you chew. Sticky foods are exceedingly difficult to remove from the brand-new nooks and crannies in your mouth, so that’s a hard No right there if you’re considering marshmallows or caramel.  

Crunchy foods including ice, nuts, and crisps will almost certainly bend or break braces. Popcorn may be a softer option, but those little kernels have a way of sneaking into tiny crevices and can be incredibly painful.

Safe Food List

It can be a challenge finding foods that are soft, tasty, and healthy, and of course much will depend on your personal tastes. However, here are some safe foods to consider when you are eating with braces:

  • Bread products such as pancakes, muffins, or soft fresh loaves.
  • Dairy products including yoghurt and soft cheeses.
  • Meat products such as lunch meats, meatballs, or minced meats.
  • Grains like rice or pasta.
  • Vegetables that are soft when cooked.
  • Fruits that can be chopped up small or those that are naturally soft like bananas.

The first few days after fitting your braces, we advise you to err on the side of caution for several reasons. 

The adhesive used to hold the braces in place dries quickly but takes around 24 hours to set completely. Your mouth will likely be tender and sensitive so soft foods will be easier to manage. Also, it’s easier to clean your teeth properly after eating softer foods that don’t get stuck in or around the braces. 

Thereafter you can experiment with other foods and see how they feel in your mouth. 

Always remember to develop a good cleaning routine during your treatment. It’s notoriously difficult to clean teeth with braces and you will certainly need to spend extra time and care with your oral hygiene. 

More About Fruit and Vegetables

Biting into fresh fruit and hard raw vegetables will certainly bend or break your braces. But that doesn’t mean that they should be taken off the menu. Healthy natural snacks are far better than their processed counterparts. 

Choose fruits carefully and try to eat more soft fruits such as plums, peaches, and bananas. If you want to eat apples, then chop them up into small pieces so that you don’t need to bite into them with your front teeth. 

Likewise with vegetables, remove the corn from the cob, chop up carrots, and enjoy all the steamed soft veggies that you want. 

Keep Your Mouth Healthy

When you first have your braces fitted you may experience some discomfort. Your lips, tongue, and cheeks may be a little sore for a while, but this is normal. 

Just remember to be gentle with yourself. Soft foods, regular rinsing, and thorough brushing and flossing will keep your braces in the best shape possible. The frustration of having to consider everything you eat won’t last forever, so make smart choices to keep your mouth healthy.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please feel free to talk to our friendly staff. We’ll be happy to set your mind at ease. 

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