Making the choice to improve your smile with braces is exciting, but it also comes with quite a few changes! The face you see in the mirror will look a little different, and you may also find that your mouth feels unfamiliar at first, too. Since your teeth don’t touch the same way they did before, it can affect the way you chew and in the beginning, may even affect your speech temporarily.
Don’t worry! As your treatment continues and your teeth begin shifting, your mouth will adapt to biting and chewing in a more natural way. You should be able to eat most foods within a month or so of getting your braces put on, but there are certain food restrictions that will continue throughout your orthodontic journey.
While these restrictions are worth it once your braces come off and you see your beautiful new smile, we know they can be frustrating sometimes. Here at Bee Cave Orthodontics, we’re all about making the treatment process as comfortable and stress-free as possible. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips to help you cope with the chewing challenges that can come with braces! We’ve also included a list of some of the best foods to eat while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Keep reading to learn more!
However long you plan to be in braces, it’s an important investment in your oral health, your overall health, and a straighter smile. Whether you are in them for a few months or a few years, it might feel like forever, but braces really are a brief time commitment when you consider that the benefits last a lifetime! Patience is an important part of that process. If you can accept that you’ll have a few temporary limitations, it will make things much easier. In the meantime, you can help the treatment process go more smoothly by:
slowing down! Try to avoid taking huge bites or scarfing down your dinners. No matter what you’re eating, take the time to cut your food into small pieces, and make sure you’re chewing it slowly and carefully.
sticking to softer foods. This is especially useful immediately after your braces are put on, and for a day or two after any adjustment appointments. There’s no need to limit yourself to boring soups and shakes, either! You can search “soft food recipes” online and get inventive in the kitchen. You can eventually add things like steak and burgers back to the menu, but take it easy for a few days to protect your mouth and braces.
leaving nuts and seeds to wildlife for the time being. As healthy as these items can be, they’re a no-go when you’re wearing braces because they can get stuck in your brackets. The same holds true for popcorn, and sticky or crunchy foods, too. These can break the brackets or even pop one off.
treating yourself! Frozen yogurt, popsicles, or ice cream can be a great way to get some relief if your mouth is aching from your braces being put on or adjusted. Just remember – all things in moderation (and brush your teeth as soon as you’re done.)
The first few weeks of braces tend to be the most difficult. As your gums and mouth toughen up, you’ll get used to chewing and eating a little differently. Oral health goes beyond that, though. It’s more important than ever to care for your teeth and gums when you’re in braces. Along with brushing and flossing, you should aim to eat a healthy diet that’s rich and varied. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite foods that are safe for braces and good for your teeth below!
Whether you like it plain, Greek, or topped with fruit and honey, yogurt is high in calcium and protein that helps strengthen your teeth. You’ll also get an extra boost of beneficial bacteria from the probiotics contained in yogurt, which can benefit your gums by crowding out the bad bacteria that cause cavities. Because it requires no chewing, yogurt can be a good choice if your teeth are sore, as long as you brush your teeth afterwards. Even plain yogurt has naturally-occurring sugar content.
Similar in texture to yogurt, the temperature and texture of a smoothie can help soothe oral discomfort by decreasing swelling and creating a numbing sensation in your gums and teeth. Serve one in a glass on its own or in a bowl with toppings for an extra boost of vitamins and minerals. Smoothies are also fun to make and easy to take with you on the go!
Even when cut into small pieces, beef, pork, and chicken can be difficult to eat if putting pressure on your teeth is causing pain. Fish is a fantastic alternative, since it’s naturally soft and flaky. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish have been linked with lower rates of gum disease because they naturally decrease inflammation. Fatty fish like salmon and Atlantic mackerel are also good sources of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb and use calcium effectively. This is critical for oral health since calcium protects the teeth and gums from disease.
Cooked fruits and veggies
Raw fruits and vegetables are best avoided with new braces, and you’ll need to be careful with them throughout treatment since they can be too hard on brackets and wires. Baking or boiling them will make them soft enough to eat, however. Most fruits and vegetables contain antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C, which helps protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infections. Aim to put a rainbow on your plate as often as possible to get the most out of your food for your whole body!
Eggs are an excellent protein source, and are also rich in phosphorus. When combined with calcium and Vitamin D, phosphorus helps to build strong bones and teeth. Protein contributes to keeping your teeth healthy, and reducing decay. Eggs are extremely versatile, and can be eaten scrambled, boiled, or poached. You can have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any time in between, too! No matter which way you cook them, they will generally be soft enough for even the sorest mouth.
Bee Cave Orthodontics is here to help you through the braces process
We know that braces can be tricky from time to time, particularly where food is involved. We hope this list will help you make good choices for your teeth and body! There’s no need to suffer in order to get straighter teeth, which is why Bee Cave Orthodontics is dedicated to providing you with comfortable treatment options and top-quality care.
If you’re a current braces patient and have any questions or concerns about your treatment plan, we’re always here to help. If you’re considering braces treatment or any other orthodontic care in the Austin area, give us a call and we’ll be happy to schedule a FREE consultation for you!