Kaneohe, HI – Adjusting to life in braces can take a bit of getting used to. Not only do you have to adjust to having the brackets and wires in place, but you also have to learn how to develop the best diet to avoid damage to your braces. Did you ever wonder what you can eat during braces treatment? What foods are you not supposed to eat?
Luckily, your Kaneohe orthodontic experts at Hawaiian Smiles are here to help. Follow these tips from Hawaiian Smiles to ensure your food habits don’t damage your braces during treatment and you work on the best diet possible to complete your treatment.
Your brackets remain bonded to your teeth, and tiny elastics hold the wires in place. While this bonding material is strong, some types of foods can damage or dislodge your brackets and wires. It’s important to avoid anything too chewy, crunchy, sticky, or hard, as well as food that requires biting into (think apples, corn on the cob, etc.). Our friends from the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) prepared another blog with information for parents on this subject. You might want to check it out as well
Foods That Don’t Belong in the Best Diet While Wearing Braces
- Chewy foods such as bagels, taffy, licorice, French/Italian bread
- Crunchy foods such as popcorn, most potato chips, ice
- Sticky foods such as caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods such as raw vegetables, nuts, hard taco shells, hard cookies, or crackers
You may fear you’ll have to avoid a lot of foods during your treatment, but don’t worry – there are still plenty of healthy snacks and treats you can enjoy.
Foods to Include in the Best Diet While Wearing Braces
- Dairy products such as yogurt, pudding, soft cheeses, and smoothies
- Soft bread products such as pancakes, tortillas, muffins (without nuts)
- Grains such as pasta and rice
- Meats such as meatballs and lunchmeat
- Vegetables such as mashed potatoes or steamed, soft veggies
- Fruits and fruit products such as bananas, applesauce, grapes, oranges, fruit without pits
- Treats such as ice cream, Jell-O, cakes, milkshakes, soft cookies, and chocolate without nuts or caramel
- Salty snacks such as Pringles, baked chips, cheese puffs, veggie sticks, kale chips, sweet potato fries
Some Notes on the First Few Days
In the first few days following having your Kaneohe braces placed, you’ll want to stick to soft foods.
Your best diet should include soup, yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, and other similar foods are good ideas for the first day or two after getting braces.
Your mouth will be sore as the braces begin to work, and the insides of your mouth will need some time to adjust to having the metal brackets and wires in place. Some ideas for foods to have on hand after getting braces include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Soft fruits
- Soft cheeses
- Scrambled eggs
Some braces-safe foods may not be ideal for eating in the days following getting your braces on. Some foods can cause irritation or too much pressure and sensitivity. Some examples include:
- Ice cream (or anything else frozen as the extreme cold could irritate an already sensitive mouth)
- Spicy foods
- Citrus fruits or juices
- Thick cuts of meat, even if you cut them into bite-sized pieces
- Anything that takes too much chewing
Your teeth and mouth will feel sensitive for the first several days after getting braces. After a week or so, you can resume a regular braces-friendly diet. We know it can be hard to comply with this, but children and adults undergoing treatment will see the benefits.
How Dental Hygiene Complements Your Diet
Proper oral care is also critical during your orthodontic treatment. Brushing and flossing even more often than usual can help keep your treatment on track and ensure your smile stays healthy throughout.
It’s not just about developing the best diet your braces need. Brushing after healthy snacks and meals is an important part of your treatment.
This care routine removes left-over food particles after eating and prevents the bacteria living in your mouth from mixing with the food. The sugars found in the foods we consume mix with the bacteria that live in our saliva, leading to plaque build-up.
Regularly brushing your teeth can remove this plaque before it hardens into tartar and before it can cause decay. To ensure you can care for your braces while on the go at work, school, or traveling, pack a braces care kit to keep with you.
A travel toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, orthodontic wax, and even a small mirror can make caring for your braces while on the go a breeze.
It can take a bit of time to get used to wearing braces. We know it can be hard to adapt to the extra care’s initial sensitivity and know the right foods to eat. There is a lot to remember if you want to have a successful treatment.
Still, you and your mouth will adapt to your braces in no time. It’s important to remember all the ins and outs and dos and don’ts.
Eating foods on the no list can break the brackets off your teeth or bend a wire, meaning your braces can’t work properly. Developing the best diet your braces need will help avoid problems with your appliances.
And if you indulge in foods that are too hard, starchy, or sugary, these can leave behind particles between your braces and teeth. If not cleaned properly, these can lead to tooth decay.
When you have braces, it’s important to follow all of your orthodontist’s care instructions, including what foods you can and cannot eat. This level of care ensures your treatment stays on track so you can enjoy your beautiful new smile as quickly as possible.