Eating with Braces

What can you eat when you first get braces?

Getting braces doesn’t hurt, but your mouth may be sensitive in the days following your appointment. Therefore, eating foods that have a tougher texture could cause pain.

Since you’ll also have to learn how to chew differently, your orthodontist will likely recommend only eating soft foods for the first few days.

Ideal foods to eat after getting braces include:

  • mashed potatoes
  • yogurt
  • soups
  • scrambled eggs
  • oatmeal
  • grains
  • seafood
  • soft fruits
  • soft cheeses
  • cooked or soft vegetables
  • moist desserts
  • pasta

Basically, anything that’s easy to chew.

Sensitivity after getting braces will improve after a few days or a week. At that point, you’ll be able to somewhat resume your typical diet.

What to avoid eating right after getting braces

Along with knowing what foods you can eat after getting braces, you should know what foods to avoid right after getting braces.

Plenty of foods are fine to eat with braces. However, some “safe” foods might not be ideal immediately after getting braces, since they can irritate your mouth, causing too much pressure and sensitivity.

Foods to avoid right after getting braces include:

  • ice cream
  • thick rolls or breads
  • thicker cuts of meats
  • spicy foods
  • citrus foods

You’ll be able to eat these items once your teeth adjust to having braces.

What to keep avoiding while you have braces

  • Be mindful that braces are sensitive to damage, so you’ll need to avoid certain foods for as long as you have braces. 
  • These include sticky and hard foods that can damage the wires or bands, or cause a bracket to separate from a tooth.

Foods to completely avoid with braces include:

  • popcorn
  • nuts
  • ice
  • chewing gum
  • hard candy
  • chewy candy
  • pizza crust
  • bagels and other hard rolls
  • crunchy vegetables and fruits
  • hard crackers
  • pretzels
  • chips

Also, limit consumption of sugary foods and drinks while having braces. When sugar mixes with saliva, it creates a sticky film (plaque) that coats the teeth.

Brushing can remove plaque, but that becomes harder to do with braces. And if you’re unable to remove this sticky film, there’s a risk of tooth decay.

So, while the occasional sweet treat is OK, limit yourself to only a few sugary foods and beverages a week.

What to do if wires or bands on your braces come loose

During the time you have braces, you’ll have periodic appointments with your orthodontist to adjust your braces. Other issues can occur between regular adjustments, like a loose or broken wire or band.

This can happen if you:

  • eat sticky or crunchy foods
  • pick at your braces
  • have an injury to your mouth

If you have any issues with your braces, make an appointment with your orthodontist right away. Ignoring the damage or delaying a repair could potentially slow your treatment time.

Don’t pull or bend a broken wire or bracket. You could cause more damage. Instead, place a piece of wet cotton or orthodontic wax over the sharp edge until you’re able to see a dentist or orthodontist.

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