Tips on How to Eat with Braces: A Guide for Orthodontic Patients
One of the most significant adjustments for many patients is learning how to eat with braces. This is true whether you have traditional metal braces or Damon braces.
Eating with braces can be a somewhat tricky and uncomfortable experience as you adjust to life during orthodontic treatment. Braces can make it difficult to eat certain foods and it’s crucial to take care of them properly to ensure that the treatment is effective.
This in-depth guide provides tips and tricks to help you eat with braces comfortably and safely, including types of foods to focus on (and ones to avoid!) as well as specific ways to eat.
Stick to Softer Foods (Especially at First)
Especially during the first few days after getting braces or after having them adjusted, your mouth may feel sore and tender. It’s best to stick to soft foods during this time to avoid causing any additional discomfort.
Some good options include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Cottage cheese
- Mashed potatoes
- Meal replacement shakes
- Apple sauce
Plus, when eating with braces in general, it is important to choose food that is easier to chew. Sticking to softer foods will lessen the risk of damaging your braces or causing irritation to your gums and teeth.
As you become more accustomed to wearing braces, you can start including a wider variety of semi-soft food items like tortillas, thinly-sliced lunch meats, meatballs (cut into smaller pieces), seafood, soft fruits (peach and melon), and steamed vegetables in your diet.
Avoid Sticky, Chewy, and Crunchy Foods
While braces can help you get a straight and healthy smile, they can be easily damaged by certain foods. Make sure to avoid sticky, chewy, and crunchy foods that can get caught in your braces and cause damage. These include:
- Hard candy
- Chewing gum
Steer clear of these and similar foods to avoid damaging your braces and having to schedule a last-minute appointment with your orthodontist. Opt for softer snacks such as spreadable cheese, soft bread, muffins, and soft cookies.
Avoid Excessively Sugary Snacks
Another important tip to keep in mind when it comes to how to eat with braces is to avoid extremely sugary snacks. Sugary treats can stick to your braces and quickly cause tooth decay and cavities. There are better options, like a sliced banana, that you can eat that can satisfy your sweet tooth without causing a lot of damage.
Be Careful What You Bite Into
You don’t want to bite into things like burritos, thick sandwiches, apples, or corn on the cob. These types of foods can cause pain, get stuck in your braces, and even damage them.
Cut Your Food Into Smaller Pieces
With braces, if you’re accustomed to large bites and eating quickly, you may have a bit more difficulty. So, another simple way to make eating with braces easier is to cut your food into smaller pieces that are easier to chew. It will also help prevent damage to your braces. This is especially helpful with foods such as steak, chicken, vegetables, and fruit.
Take Your Time While Eating
Eating with braces can be challenging, so it’s important to take your time while eating and chew slowly. This will help you avoid accidentally biting your braces, which can be painful and cause damage.
Eat Your Meals in a Relaxed Environment
Eating in a relaxed atmosphere, such as sitting down at a table and taking the time to thoroughly chew your food, can lessen the potential discomfort and difficulty of eating with braces.
Chew With Your Back Teeth
Because your back teeth are the strongest and least likely to be affected by the braces, try to chew with your back teeth as much as possible. This allows for more even wear and tear of the food and prevents the braces from exerting too much pressure on any one tooth.
Chewing with your back teeth also helps to properly break down food particles so that they can be more easily digested. As a result, it helps to increase the efficiency of your digestion.
Brush and Rinse Your Mouth After Each Meal
It’s crucial to clean your teeth after every meal when wearing braces. This will help keep your braces and teeth clean and free from bacteria. Food particles can easily get stuck in the brackets and wires, leading to plaque buildup and potentially causing damage to your teeth. So, make sure you have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash with you when you’re on the go.
Invest in Floss Threaders or an Interdental Brush
Floss threaders and interdental brushes are extremely helpful tools to clean around and between your braces to prevent plaque buildup. Using these tools can greatly help you keep your braces clean and free of debris.
Keep Up With Your Routine Orthodontist Visits
Keeping up with your routine visits to your orthodontist during treatment is important to ensure that your braces are fitting properly and that there are no problems. This will also help you stay informed about proper eating techniques and maintain healthy teeth and gums.
If you are ever unsure about what to eat, don’t be afraid to talk with your orthodontic specialist to get personalized advice. They can tell you what foods and snacks are safe for you to eat and also provide even more tips and tricks to make your journey with braces easier.
Eating With Braces Just Takes a Little Extra Care
Eating with braces can be an adjustment but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Following the tips we’ve covered above can help you prevent damage to your braces, keep your teeth clean during treatment, get your braces off faster, and achieve the perfect smile with ease.
With the right food choices and proper oral care, you can enjoy your favorite meals with braces and maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.
Here at Cook & Gutsche Orthodontics, our expert team is here to help with any questions you have about how to eat with braces, orthodontic treatment, or any other related topics. We are the top orthodontist in Springfield, PA, and are confident that we can help you achieve the straight, confident smile that you deserve.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment!