Getting braces is undoubtedly an extremely anxious period with the fear of adjusting to the changes associated with it. Orthodontics braces are advised to help straighten and align the teeth while improving overall dental health. (1).
While adjusting to your mouth’s new dynamics might be discomforting, it can be made soothing by adopting appropriate food choices.
You must be wondering now that what to eat with braces?
A soft and low in sugar diet that requires minimal effort to chew is recommended after getting braces. The ideal food choices include:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Steamed Vegetables
Having braces does not mean that your diet must be boring with pureed and soft foods; you just need to have a braces-friendly diet to protect them from breakage.
What To Eat With Braces?
Select healthy and soft foods when you are on braces. You will need food that requires little or no chewing, such as yogurt, cheese, soup, pasta, and smoothies soon after getting mounts installed.
You must include a variety of foods from different food groups to focus on a healthy diet:
- Dairy– soft cheese, pudding, yogurt, egg, and milk-based drinks.
- Grains– pasta, soft cooked rice
- Bread– pancakes, soft tortillas, soaked slices of bread
- Seafood– salmon, tuna, crab cakes
- Poultry– meatballs, soft cooked chicken
- Fruits– Bananas, applesauce, fruit juice
- Vegetables– mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and beans
Softer foods are essential during braces, so you do not damage them. Brackets and wires attached to your braces are fragile, and eating the wrong foods during the time of the whole dental procedure can pose a risk to your braces and teeth.
You can gradually move to eat your favorite foods after 5 days when swelling reduces, and you become more comfortable with biting and chewing things. Cut up larger and harder foods into smaller pieces such as sandwiches, fruits, and raw vegetables.
Loosened wires and damaged braces prolong the treatment and will not let teeth move effectively. (2) You must think wisely about your food choices and go for a soft, healthy, and well-balanced diet to make your orthodontic treatment more successful.
Also Read: 15 Reasons not to Get Braces
Foods For The First Week Of Braces
Let us break a bubble for you. The transition period after getting braces might not be comfortable. You will feel discomfort while eating for at least the first week. It is best to start with a diet of softer foods until you get used to eating with your new braces.
Soft and easy to chew foods must be taken during this time to make the transition smoother and prevent additional pressure on your brackets.
The best choices for the first week can be:
Smoothies can serve as the best option for someone whose ability to eat normally has decreased. They can be made in different ways to create a healthy option for breakfast.
They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals if fruits, vegetables, and yogurt are added to them (3) and make a refreshing and hearty drink for braces wearer.
Soup is a versatile food item that can be paired with various vegetables or lentils to make it nutritious and fulfilling. It is easy to drink and makes the best alternative for a soft diet while wearing braces.
You can cook smoothly blended soups to make it easier to have them during lunch for the first week after getting braces.
Also Read: What to Eat After Tooth Extraction?
They are also known as comfort food. Mashed potatoes are an ideal choice for snacks as they are nutritious, especially if you use sweet potatoes.
They are soft and easy to eat, which is a crucial point to eat while on braces.
Smoked or baked ground beef combined with other ingredients is shaped in a loaf to make meatloaf. (4)
It is soft, easy to chew, and full of protein, and makes a perfect choice for dinner while adjusting with braces.
I have broken down the best possible foods, meal by meal, to make your daily food choices easier for you. In this way, you can quickly get to eat those foods which are essential for braces diet.
Some easy to follow breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner food choices for the first month are as follows:
|Week 1|| |
|Week 2|| |
|Week 3|| |
|Week 4|| |
Try sticking to the above provided eating routine and foods similar to it. You will find that eating with braces is not as much hard as you have imagined.
What Not To Eat With Braces?
Make sure your eating habits remain healthy during your orthodontic period because it is significant for your overall treatment’s result. It is best to avoid hard, sticky, and crunchy foods that can cause any problem during your healing period.
Hard candies pose a high risk of damage to teeth and braces.
They can bend archwires and are proven destructive for the tooth’s surface. (5) They must be avoided entirely and off the list for few months into your procedure.
Nuts and Popcorns
Eating crunchy foods like nuts and popcorns can be very challenging for braces wearers. They are hard and small in size, which can be tricky to handle while wearing braces.
Choose spreads like peanut butter or almond butter as an alternative to your nut cravings. You can coarsely grind nuts and popcorns before having them.
Chewy Foods Like Gums, Caramel, Or Taffy
Sticky foods like caramel, gums, and toffees are off the menu during your braces treatment time. They may get stuck under your braces attachment and can loosen the bands and brackets of your braces.
During orthodontic treatment, teeth are more at risk of decay. (6) Excessive sugar present in such kinds of food is awful for braces and dental health.
Hard Crusted Bread
Hard-crusted bread and biscuits such as bagels and pretzels are chewy for individuals with braces. They are difficult to bite into and can get stuck in wire attachments, making them very hard to remove.
Make sure to eat such foods by softening them or cutting them into smaller pieces first.
One thing which is very dangerous for your teeth and braces is to chew on ice. It can mainly cause problems of breaking or moving a wire from its place.
Crunchy Raw Vegetables And Fruits
Your teeth are tender to the biting pressure when you first get braces. Crunchy raw vegetables and fruits must be avoided to protect your braces from getting damaged.
For safe consumption of hard vegetables and fruits such as apples and carrots, cut them into small pieces before having them. Or steam them to make them even easier to eat with braces.
Fizzy And Soft Drinks
Try to drink more water to keep yourself hydrated instead of taking fizzy sodas and drinks. They are not the right choice for overall dental health.
Acidic beverages leave the stain on the teeth triggering bacteria to cause cavities. (7)
Your orthodontist provides dietary guidelines for a reason. Abiding by those rules while wearing braces is a favor to yourself. Acting opposite to it might damage orthodontic appliances thus, causing delays in the treatment.
Also Read: What to Eat After Root Canal?
What Happens If You Eat Wrong Food?
If you eat wrong foods like nuts, hard rolls, popcorns, bubble gums, and lollies while wearing braces, then you put a risk of breaking wires and brackets attached to your appliance.
This will increase the treatment time and thus, making to visit your orthodontist several times.
Eating foods that are chewy, crunchy, and high in sugar content causes discomfort and can create an environment of plaque and bacteria that further decays the teeth and gums, thus prolonging the treatment time. (8)
I have developed a handy list of do’s & don’ts so that it becomes easier to snack while wearing braces.
Please note that some of the hard foods can be eaten if they are grounded well. You can even have some fast foods if you break them into small bites before eating.
Remember to eat slowly and chew cautiously, and do not bite onto hard substances at once. Use your back teeth to chew and use pain relievers prescribed by your orthodontics to ease sensitivity.
What Can I Eat With Braces On The First Day?
It is best to eat foods that are soft and easy to consume but at the same time nutritious and filling. You can choose from various food options like soup, soft cheese, milk, smoothies, eggs, and yogurt.
Try to take light meals on the first day. Cut up large foods into smaller pieces and chew with the help of your back teeth to avoid any damage to braces.
What To Eat In The First Week Of Braces?
You must stick to soft foods and avoid crunchy and chewy foods like raw vegetables, hard fruits, candies, and gummies in your first week of braces.
Your teeth can feel soreness and mild sensitivity with braces adjustments. Some foods are particularly difficult to chew as they are challenging.
How Long After Getting Braces Can You Eat Normal Foods?
You can eat food as soon as you leave the dentist clinic but try to eat with caution.
It is best to stick to softer foods until soreness gets away. You can start some solid foods gradually after 5 days of treatment as you start getting comfortable with your new braces.
Can I Eat Chocolate With Braces?
There is no harm in eating chocolates, but it should be done in moderation. Foods high in sugar content can cause teeth to decay. (9)
Dark chocolate can be a better option in this regard.
Can I Have Pizza With Braces?
Pizza lovers can enjoy thin crust pizza broken into small pieces. Avoid hard chicken and toppings that can prove disastrous to your braces.
The pizza crust is relatively tough to chew so, be careful while having it.
Can I Eat Chips With Braces?
If you are fond of eating potato chips and thin crisps, you can eat them in small pieces occasionally.
Avoid hard crackers, pretzels, hard-shell tacos, and nuts during braces.
How Many Times Should I Brush My Teeth With Braces?
Food may get stuck between braces and teeth while wearing braces. Brushing and flossing should be done regularly to ensure oral hygiene. (10)
It is advised by the orthodontics to brush after every meal. If you are in a situation where you cannot find a toothbrush or toothpaste, then rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
Can I Eat Corn On The Cob With Braces?
It is better to avoid foods that need direct biting, like corn on the cob, chicken wings, whole pears, and apples.
Foods that need biting from the front teeth are difficult to handle while wearing braces. It can bend wires or damage the brackets.
A Word Of Caution
Remember that your teeth are more prone to cavities and tooth decay while on braces. So, it is essential to follow a diet plan which is healthy and full of nutrition that poses less risk to your braces.
Keep in mind a few considerations while having braces:
- Be careful what you eat with braces.
- Use wax to fight mouth sores.
- Rinse your mouth regularly
- Practice good oral hygiene.
Oral hygiene is the top priority after getting braces installed. Food will get trapped in braces. You will need to learn how to brush and floss properly. Brushing must be done after every meal to ensure no food particles are left in braces.
Every individual may have a different experience, but adopting these above simple steps can make your straight teeth journey more comfortable and pleasant.
It is exciting to have options like braces to correct your dental problems and fixing your teeth at any age. You just need to comply with all the rules and instructions provided by your dentist.
Your teeth need additional attention and care from tooth decay, staining, and gum disease while on braces. Orthodontics advise soft and easy-to-eat foods to make braces treatment period more effective and achieve perfect results from your braces.
Orthodontic procedures can improve your teeth’ health so, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions to promote early recovery. Going against the guidelines provided by your doctor can prolong the treatment period, costing you time and money.
Although braces can present specific challenges, eating and cooking should not be one of them. You can opt for the simpler choices provided above and give us your suggestions in the comment box below.
A nutrition degree holder and a foodie by heart, Madiha Saad loves to inspire people through her writings and uses her knowledge and experience to write articles on trending nutrition topics. She loves to develop new recipes in her pastime. Read More…