If you wear braces to straighten your misaligned teeth, I’m sure by now you are well aware that they come with some discomfort.
Knowing the foods to eat and to avoid with your braces will go a long way in helping you maintain them and care for your overall oral health.
We have come up with a list of foods that will help from the first day of wearing your braces to the last day of removing them.
What To Eat On The First Day With Braces
Most people are skeptical about wearing braces because they think it’s painful and it would restrict them from eating the food they love.
However, braces do not hurt at all, although there may be a slight soreness or discomfort at the initial stage after your orthodontist places wire with the bracket. Sometimes, this discomfort may last for a few days to a week.
Braces are delicate appliances that can easily break. During your braces days, avoid sticky, chewy, hard, and foods types that require biting into, as they are the prime for breaking braces.
The first few days are usually the worse as soreness is still prevalent. Here are some soft foods you can eat at the outset of wearing your braces;
- Mashed potatoes
- Shredded, soft-cooked chicken and meat
- Scrambled eggs
- Smoothies and milkshakes
- Pasta and noodles
- Couscous, quinoa, and soft cooked rice
- Soft bread
- Soft cheese
- Pudding and custard
- Protein shakes
- Cottage cheese
- Mashed bananas
- Soft bread
- Macaroni and cheese
What To Eat In The First Week With Braces
While you may have to stay away from some of your favorite foods when you have your braces on, you can enjoy these types of foods as long as they are soft and well cooked.
Vegetables are essential for growth, they provide vitamins and minerals. Although vegetables are prepared differently, there are some which may not be pleasant enough for you, unless you boil until it is soft.
Soft fruits are a great food choice for braces because you can easily bite into them. Cut fruits that seem hard into small bite-sized pieces and chew with the back of your teeth. Select fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries for when your teeth are tender.
Most grain products are easy foods that are soft to chew. However, there are a few grains you should be more cautious of when you have your braces in. An example is hard-crusted bread such as bagels.
Unground whole grains and small seeds or grains are best avoided, as they can get stuck in between your teeth, wires, and appliances, which are often difficult to remove.
Meat is a tricky food for braces wearers. It is fibrous, which makes it hard to chew. When stringy, it can also become stuck in between your teeth and braces. Do not eat meat such as chicken, wings, and ribs right from the bone.
This can pop off your brackets. Always remove meat from the bone before eating, select lean, tender meats, and cut them into small bite-sized pieces. Fish, pork, chicken, or lean beef are recommended choices. Tofu is a good option for vegetarians since it is also soft.
Dairy is an excellent choice for braces. It contains calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and protein, nutrients necessary for strong bones and teeth. It is also soft and requires little chewing.
All varieties of dairy such as low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese are good with braces. But if you are lactose intolerant, choose soy-based dairy products as it is soft to eat with braces.
Foods To Avoid With Braces
You should avoid certain foods because they easily cause your braces to break. Braces are delicate and these foods can get stuck in them or stick to them, making it difficult to get them out and adding to the discomfort. These foods include:
- Chewy foods like hard rolls or bagels, chewy candy like caramel or gummy bears.
- Crunchy foods such as ice, popcorn, chips of all types.
- Nuts, hard candies and other hard foods.
- Sticky foods, including chewing gums, candies, and caramel.
- Whole hard fruits that require biting into like apple, pears, corn on the cob
- Raw hard veggies like carrots.
- Hard pretzels, peanut brittle and pizza crust
Other Activities With Braces
Often, patients ask if they can carry out other activities while on braces. The answer to this is yes. Braces, although delicate, do not affect your other activities. Though you may experience slight discomfort and soreness, which affects your daily routine, it subsides with time.
Regardless of your ongoing orthodontic treatment, you can still continue your daily routine as you normally would. Sports activities require a much more careful approach.
This includes wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth and dental appliance. Consult your doctor on recommendations to find the right mouth guard for the best protection.
In cases of an emergency, make sure you immediately check your mouth and appliance for injury and damage.
Contact your dentist as soon as you notice any loose teeth or appliances out of place. You can also temporarily relieve the discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater or applying wax.
Eating With Braces
Getting used to a life with braces and adjusting to changes associated with wearing them can be challenging, especially if you don’t understand how to live with them.
To avoid complications, there are certain factors you need to add to your meal. It is important for you to know how to take care of your braces throughout your dental duration.
There are foods you can eat and those you should avoid. Regardless, you should always keep the crevices between your teeth and around the braces clean and healthy. Brush and floss regularly after meals to prevent plaques, recurrent tooth infections, and decay.
Eating foods that are bad for your braces can cause discomfort and increase the risk of breaking brackets or wires. This is more likely to lead to unscheduled repeated trips to the orthodontist and prolong your treatment.
Eating chewing foods while on braces can get stuck. Those high in sugar content will create a conducive environment for plaques and bacteria to thrive, resulting in long-term damage to your teeth.
What You Should Know About Braces
A brace is a corrective dental device used to rectify crowded, crooked teeth and misaligned jaws. It is mostly used during adolescence, but more and more adults are getting it now.
An orthodontist is a doctor who specializes in the prevention, correction, and treatment of teeth irregularities and misalignment.
These braces comprise wires and bonding materials made with metal or ceramic that attach them to your teeth. Although braces are effective, their effectiveness depends on your ability to follow instructions.
There are various types of braces recommended, depending on several factors such as your age and dental condition. All braces are custom-made and specific to individual issues. The most common types include;
These are metal brackets and glued separately to each of your teeth. O-rings connect the bracket to an archwire. The archwire puts pressure on your teeth and jaw; it is also moved from time to time as your teeth move back into their correct position.
Another name for invisible braces is aligner trays. They are retainers given only after the completion of traditional treatment for braces. Occasionally taken off and placed back on, they are used to maintaining current teeth positioning.
Ceramic or clear braces are usually less visible, while lingual braces are fixed behind your teeth.
Maintaining Oral Health With Braces
After getting your braces, you’ll need to be mindful of certain things to avoid damage and complications. You’ll also need to visit your orthodontist for an adjustment.
Depending on several factors, this may be every 8 to 10 weeks. During these visits, your orthodontist will change out o-rings when necessary and check for maintenance on oral health.
The next question now is, how do you clean your teeth with braces?
Be extra careful about this procedure and brush after every meal. You may use a special device called an interdental toothbrush to clean underneath and around your brackets and archwire.
Your orthodontist will give you a special floss to use around the braces twice a day. You should also schedule a dental cleaning appointment with your orthodontist every six months to a year.
Braces work slowly, and treatment varies for every individual. During the process, pressure is exerted on your jawline with changes to your dental appearance.
A successful dental procedure affects your overall health, appearance, and functionality. Closely follow instructions given by your orthodontist, and be sure to contact your orthodontist if you experience prolonged pain and discomfort.
You can also speak to your dentist if you are curious and would like to get braces.