Before you dive into your next meal, you’ll need to consider what’s now on your teeth: braces! Our Gainesville and Lake City, FL, orthodontists encourage patients to pay closer attention to what they consume throughout the day as certain foods, while delicious, can pose a threat to your new metal or ceramic braces.
Here are some suitable
How to Approach the First Few Days
The biggest thing you’ll notice after our team has finished applying your brackets, wires, and elastic bands, is that your mouth feels a bit sorer than it was when you arrived. This is totally normal! Your teeth, gums, and jaw will need a few days to get adjusted to the new components which will require some patience on your part.
During this time, our orthodontists recommend that you stick to more forgiving foods that are going to be easier to break apart and eat. There are plenty to choose from while your mouth is still sensitive so don’t feel like you have to select one or two and only consume those.
For instance, we recommend picking any of the following foods:
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed potatoes
- Soft pasta (i.e., macaroni and cheese)
- Steamed or cooked vegetables (not raw)
- Soft cheeses
- Bananas or other fruit that isn’t hard or crunchy
Because every patient has a different pain tolerance, it’s important to take it easy when you get back from your first orthodontic appointment and eat foods at your own pace. You should start to feel the sensitivity and discomfort dissipate after the first week but if you don’t think you’re ready for certain foods outside of this group like cold ice cream, spicy foods, or chewier bread, give yourself some more time.
After you’ve moved past that initial week and your mouth has become accustomed to your new braces, you can allow your diet to expand a bit. You can start to introduce meats such as shredded chicken or lunchmeat, fish, cut-up fruits, and other sweet treats depending on what you like. We urge you to remain careful as your treatment goes on to avoid broken wires, loose brackets, or other orthodontic emergencies.
Note → Have Invisalign® clear aligners instead of ceramic or metal braces? These same food guidelines still apply for the first few days while you experience soreness. After that, you’re free to eat what you’d like as long as you take out your aligners and clean them (plus your mouth) properly before popping them back in place!
Foods to Steer Clear Of With Braces
We’ve covered a handful of what you can comfortably eat, but what about the
? Understandably, those include hard, sticky, or overly crunchy foods that really make your jaw work overtime and can cause components, like brackets, to come loose.
Until you’ve had your braces removed, try staying away from:
- Popcorn with kernels
- Candy that’s hard to chew or types that may become stuck in teeth/brackets (licorice, caramel, taffy, peanut brittle, etc.)
- Tough pizza crust or rolls
- Most raw veggies or fruits (i.e., biting directly into an apple or corn on the cob)
Eating healthy can be made possible by adapting in certain ways like cutting fruit into smaller pieces or steaming vegetables beforehand. If you’re not sure whether or not you can have something, feel free to call one of our offices to double check.
At-Home Cleaning Advice
Even prioritizing the
will still result in the need for oral hygiene. Our orthodontists recommend that all patients brush their teeth at least 2-3 times a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss daily, and continue receiving professional teeth cleanings from their general dentist every 6 months.
Make sure as you’re brushing and flossing, you’re working to remove bits of food around your braces, underneath wires, or near brackets. A floss threader, picks, or a water flosser are all great tools for cleaning every aspect of your smile.
Eat Wisely With Your Braces
Delaying some foods doesn’t mean you’re entirely restricted. Our orthodontists in Gainesville and Lake City, FL, can help you learn what works for your specific situation so you can indulge differently. Call one of our Progressive Orthodontics offices today or request an appointment online.