A question that Dr. Tahbaz and Dr. Rezapour frequently receive from their orthodontic patients is, “What can I eat with braces?” And it’s a valid concern! For many years, braces have been believed to restrict patients’ diets severely; but thanks to new technology, braces are now more durable and less invasive to your life than ever! While it is still true that you need to modify your diet while in treatment, you might be surprised how little needs to change!
How Should You Eat When You First Get Your Braces?
You will likely feel soreness for a few days after we have initially glued your braces to your teeth or you put it in your very first tray. Some tenderness after periodic adjustments is normal, too. This can be managed with aspirin and by applying ice compresses. Another way is by eating soft foods. Chewing slowly and gently will also help your soreness disappear quickly.
You will want to choose items that require little to no chewing—like soups, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soft cheeses, yogurt, et cetera. Because your teeth and gums are more sensitive, you should avoid ice cream or milkshakes, spicy or hot foods, and citrus fruits until your mouth feels better.
What Foods Should You Not Eat Throughout Fixed Braces Treatment?
After the adjustment period(s), you must still monitor your food intake to protect yourself and your braces! Unapproved food can break or get stuck in your braces, leading to discomfort and declining oral health. Eating unapproved food can cause wires to poke you in the cheek and gums (which can create open wounds) and produce broken brackets, which make eating and oral hygiene challenging.
You should say “No,” when given hard and sticky food. Hard food can dislocate brackets and wires when you bite down on them, and sticky foods pull out your braces or cause bacteria growth when they get stuck in inconvenient places. Examples include (but are not limited to) popcorn, chips, taffy, caramel, gum, hard taco shells, cookies, fried food, nuts, and hard fruits and veggies.
It helps to remember your food limitations with braces won’t last forever. Changing your diet for the safety of your smile is only short-term, and you can look forward to all your favorite foods and snacks again soon!
Clear Braces Bonus: Rinse your mouth with water after meals to remove any residue that could discolor the clear elastics holding your wire.
What Foods Can You Eat Throughout Fixed Treatment?
During treatment after the adjustment period(s), you’ll still want to eat soft food and cut all your food into bite-sized pieces, but the options will expand to include food that requires chewing (just chew with your back teeth)!
Examples of “Yes,” food are pasta, soft bread, soft seafood and soft boneless meats, french fries, rice, vegetables softened by boiling or steaming (but still no stringy vegetables that could get stuck), soft fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and bananas, hard fruits cut into thin, bite-sized pieces, soft tortillas, casseroles, pies and cake, and soft sandwiches.
There’s no need to spend too much time mulling over what you’re missing when you can still eat so much! Instead, work on getting creative with the delicious foods you can eat! Almost all of the above have endless varieties! If you take the time to test out new recipes and snack ideas, you’ll see how tasty eating with braces can be.
What If You Have Clear Aligners or InBrace Braces?
Patients participating in our removable braces or hidden braces programs do not have food restrictions when not in their adjustment periods. Thanks to the removability of the Invisalign aligners and the unique placement of the InBrace appliance behind the teeth, you will not have to worry about modifying your diet or oral hygiene routine.
Luv Braces Can Help You Luv Your Experience!
Changing your lifestyle and becoming used to having an appliance in your mouth can make the transition into orthodontic treatment frustrating, but at Luv Braces, we do everything in our power to make it as seamless as possible! We’ve created two welcoming office environments so you can have a pleasant experience with us, and we give you all the information you need to find orthodontic success at home.
We Luv watching your smiles and quality of life transform, so contact us soon! Schedule your free consultation at our Austin or Bee Cave locations to discover which treatment you or your child qualifies for! The appointment is commitment free, so you can get answers about your health immediately without pressure to begin care.