If you are thinking about getting braces but aren’t sure what to expect from the diet, then you are in the right place! At Orthodontics of South Miami, Dr. Ross is here to support each patient as they go through treatment and figure out how to take care of their teeth and braces. Eating the right foods to support your physical, mental, and oral health is key to a fast and effective treatment. It’s also important to avoid the things that might break your brackets and wires, or cause tooth decay by getting stuck underneath!
Whatever your situation, whether you are feeding yourself or your child through braces treatment, then this non-exhaustive list of great food options is made just for you! Keep on reading to learn more about what you should or should not eat with braces.
What Foods To Avoid During Treatment
We like to start with the bad news so that after this, we can enjoy thinking about all the great food that you will enjoy with your braces. A good rule of thumb is if it is hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy, then it’s probably best to leave it alone. Those foods can either break your brackets or wires, accidentally pull them out, or get stuck underneath and cause tooth decay. All of these are serious outcomes that threaten your health and treatment timeline, so take this seriously!
This will mean avoiding chewing ice, crunchy vegetables and fruits, caramel, hard candy, taffy, chewy cuts of meat, nuts, popcorn, chips and pretzels, and pizza crust.
How to Cook For Braces
One of the good things about cooking and eating with braces is that many of your favorite foods can still be eaten but with some modification. For example, cooking or steaming fruits and veggies to make them softer will allow you to enjoy more kinds and get their nutritional value. Cutting up chewy meat (never eat off the bone!) or chewy types of bread can make it easier to only use your molars instead of biting with your front teeth. Cutting off the crust of your pizza will allow you to still enjoy a slice without risking your braces in the process!
How to Eat When Braces First Come On?
Now let’s dig into the food that you can enjoy with braces on! We’ll start at the beginning, in the first few days after you get braces. This is an important time because it is the first big shift for your teeth and/or jaw, and it can sometimes leave things pretty sore. Alongside some cold compresses and aspirin, you will need to have some soft foods on hand to make eating possible.
Avoid spicy, hot, or cold foods at the very beginning as your sensitive teeth may not thank you for them. Also, avoid citrus fruits just during these first few days. These foods might make your teeth even more painful. Instead try mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, soup (cooled down!), seafood, applesauce, scrambled eggs, berries and yogurt, and more extra soft foods. This will make your transition so much easier as you slowly increase the variety of foods that you can eat without pain.
The Best Foods For a Healthy Smile
Once your teeth feel better, you can expand your palette even more! We like to recommend all kinds of cooked or steamed fruits and veggies, bananas, watermelon, grapes, mashed potatoes, beans, and more to get your quota of nutrients and fiber. When it comes to proteins, we recommend lunch meat, meatballs, meatloaf, fish, and eggs. For grains and breads, focus on rice, soft bread, oatmeal, pasta, pancakes and waffles, and pastries. And for some extras, consider casseroles, soups, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even jello!
Think About Your Drinks
Aside from those first few days when you should avoid super hot or cold beverages, you can drink almost anything you like! We do recommend moderation when it comes to super sugary beverages like sodas. Sugar coats the teeth and encourages the growth of plaque that can eventually cause tooth decay and cavities when left too long or not cleaned properly. Because it’s harder to clean all the nooks and crannies of your smile while braces are on, sugary drinks can be a higher risk! As long as you drink in moderation, brush and floss frequently, and go to all your regular appointments, you should be okay.
Don’t Forget the Sweets!
As just described above, sweets are not totally off the menu when you have braces! Eating treats in moderation is generally good for your physical and oral health, and brushing well to remove sugar will help keep things clean. Just be sure to forego caramels, taffy, gum, and nuts and you should be able to have chocolate, some candy bars, marshmallows, soft cookies, brownies, and cake!
Our Team is Ready to Help You Thrive!
Dr. Ross and his incredible team at Orthodontics of South Miami are ready to help you get the beautiful smile you deserve! We believe that the best smiles are also the healthiest, and we can get you set up with a treatment that will fit your lifestyle and family needs. Give us a call soon to schedule a free consultation appointment with Dr. Ross.