How to eat comfortably with dental braces

Getting braces is an extremely exciting time, but adjusting to the changes associated with wearing your appliance can be difficult. Braces are only effective when you care for them properly, which means some types of food should be avoided throughout the duration of your treatment. This will help you achieve the best results in the shortest time possible.

For those in their first few days of having new orthodontic gear, navigating the do’s and don’ts often feels overwhelming. Many have difficulty keeping track of which foods to eat with braces, which to avoid, and even how to properly care for their braces.

While this blog covers tips for snacking comfortably with braces, new braces wearers may face challenges including:

●     Sore or chapped lips

●     Sore teeth and gums

●     Difficulty brushing and flossing

●     Pain from tightening or other adjustments

●     Bad breath

●     Irritated cheeks

●     And more

All of the above factors play a role in braces comfort. Make sure to manage lip and cheek discomfort and stay on top of oral hygiene during your treatment to prevent discomfort.

Tips For Eating With Braces

  1. Slow down. Chew slowly and carefully, and cut your food into small pieces. Forget about taking big bites of anything, or wolfing down your food. The key word here is: SLOW!
  2. Stick to soft food. Eventually you’ll be able to eat steak again. But for the next few weeks, lean toward soft foods.
  3. Avoid stringy foods, especially if you have a palate expander. You may love to wind your spaghetti around your fork, but for now it would be better for you to cut it into small pieces, or it will get wound around your brackets. Also, be careful with foods that get stringy when they melt, like mozzarella cheese.
  4. Forget the nuts and seeds. These will get stuck in your brackets and drive you crazy until you finally brush and get them out. Ditto for the hulls of popcorn. Sticky foods will likely stick to your brackets and be hard to clean off. You also want to avoid biting into anything hard that may break or pop off a bracket.
  5. Bite with the side of your mouth. It may be virtually impossible to bite into anything with your front teeth for a while. Get used to biting with your side teeth, instead. Besides, if you try to bite into a burrito with your front teeth, your front brackets will probably get plastered with tortilla.
  6. Speaking of burritos, beware of anything with large hidden chunks of meat or vegetables, like burritos or sandwich wraps. Bite carefully into those types of foods so that you don’t choke, or better yet, eat them with a fork and knife instead.
  7. Sushi will be very challenging and could gag you. You should probably cut it in half instead of trying to pop an entire piece of it into your mouth.
  8. Treat yourself to something cold, such as ice cream, popsicles, or frozen yogurt. The cold temporarily dulls the pain from your braces. 
  9. Develop an arsenal of soft food recipes. You don’t need to sentence yourself to boring soups and shakes.
  10. Use products. If eating becomes too uncomfortable because of mouth sores or poking brackets, apply plenty of dental wax or dental silicone. 

Your dentist in Camberwell will help you learn more about your braces and how to take care of them. The first few weeks of braces are the worst. But after your gums toughen up with scar tissue, and you get used to chewing and eating differently, you’ll find that food isn’t giving you as much trouble as it was before. In a few months, you’ll be able to manage some crunchy food, and wearing braces won’t be as much of a painful ordeal.

Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing at least twice per day to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage the teeth and gums, but it can also cause discolouration which can last a lifetime.

If you want to ensure the best results from your orthodontic treatment it is very important that you follow the advice about safe foods for braces that are set out above and ask your dentist in Camberwell if you have any questions about your specific treatment.

Have another question about eating with braces?

We know these lists don’t cover everything, so if you are unsure if you should eat something, or have a favourite food that isn’t listed, feel free to reach out to your dentist in Camberwell. We would be happy to assist you with any of your questions.