Getting braces is only one part of the challenge for a perfect smile. The other aspect relates to properly managing your braces including being careful about the foods that you eat. Certain foods such as sticky ones are a definite no-no when it comes to braces.
This is because braces are built as strong fencing around your teeth, enforcing the teeth to reach a proper alignment. However, just as trespassing a fence can result in the wear and tear of your clothing as it gets stuck, it is possible that food gets stuck in braces wiring as well, damaging it.
Of course, you don’t want that. On top of that, your teeth tend to be sore after you get braces for the first time and after every round of adjustment. In such instances, you will need to stick to special foods to ensure that eating isn’t a painful endeavor.
Let’s dive into the foods you should eat and avoid with braces.
Foods to eat with braces
Aim to eat food that is not hard so that your teeth don’t have to do a lot of heavy lifting with the braces on. Keeping this in mind, some of the foods that you can eat are:
- Soft bread such as biscuits, pancakes, tortillas, and muffins that are not hard at all.
- Vegetables. Try to steam them so that they soften and don’t require much hard work to chew.
- Soft fruits like kiwi, grapefruits, and tangerines.
- Soft meat. Some of the best sources of soft meat for braces-clad teeth are turkey, seafood, meatloaf, tender chicken, and lunch meant.
- Dairy products. You can pick cheese and yogurt to add to your plate from this category.
- Eggs which serve as an excellent alternative to tough meats. You can easily choose this option as your breakfast food.
- Desserts such as smoothies, ice cream, pudding, and applesauce.
- Soft grains like cooked rice and cooked pasta.
It is pretty easy to prepare a meal plan from these dietary options. For instance, you can have scrambled eggs and smoothies for breakfast. Similarly, have some soup for lunch or a banana and a salad. Make sure that the salad does not have any nuts. Or, pick a simple sandwich for lunch.
If you are looking for ideas for snacks, then you have a nutritious banana. Applesauce is also easy to eat and does not demand much chewing. Two more snack options include string cheese with fruit and baked tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa.
Have mashed potatoes with meatloaf for a soft-textured, braces-friendly dinner. Additionally, you can have ravioli and other noodle dishes such as macaroni and cheese and spaghetti.
Post-adjustment foods for braces wearers
After the initial round of getting braces, your orthodontist will keep calling you periodically to adjust them as part of your treatment time. After each of these appointments, which are going to be on your calendar every 5-8 weeks, your teeth are going to be a bit sore.
Moreover, your teeth may be sensitive to some foods for a couple of days. So, you will need to have only soft foods that don’t demand much chewing. Some of the foods to add to your to-eat list here are soup, mashed potatoes, pudding, pancakes, peas, cottage cheese, rice, and ice cream.
Foods to avoid after braces
Some foods can chip in damage to your braces. They may also require extensive chewing and may be hard, causing the wires to break. Moreover, chewy foods can get stuck in your brackets and wire, tearing them off your teeth.
You should also avoid these foods as they may get stuck in your teeth and make it challenging to clean them. As a result, improper cleaning can leave the ground open for the birth and growth of bacteria.
Some foods that fall in these categories include:
- Hard lollipops
- Chewy caramel
- Some vegetable like carrots
Hence, broadly, you need to avoid sticky and hard foods and foods that require you to chew a lot. Nuts and hard pretzels come under hard foods. Meanwhile, popcorn and ice are crunchy foods. Bagels and licorice come under chewy foods, whereas, candy is a sugary item that you need to avoid.
Besides, be careful about foods that you have to bite into as well. These are carrots, apples, and corn on the cob. You will also have to exercise caution for eating foods such as pizza crusts, burgers, sub sandwiches, and harder bread like French bread.
Tear the bread into small pieces before you have it. Make sure you do that same with apples. Cut them into small pieces for easy chewing. Lastly, when it comes to chips, eat them very carefully; almost one at a time.
By now you know what you can eat with braces and what is best kept at bay. However, irrespective of the food you eat, you need to ensure that your braces are clean and there is no food remaining in any nooks and crevices between your teeth and around the braces.
This means you not only need to be careful about the food that you eat but also brush and floss regularly to prevent plaque build-up. Failing here can culminate in damage to your gums and teeth while also causing discoloration that can last lifelong.