Foods to Eat after Your Braces Have Been Tightened
By Kellyn Hodges on October 16, 2013
Even if you've had braces for a few months, you might still be getting used to eating and chewing. The first few days after your braces have been adjusted can be particularly challenging. That's why our Philadelphia dentist has compiled a list of braces-friendly foods that are easy to find in your grocery store and easy to prepare on your own. Knowing what foods to enjoy can keep you feeling healthy, energized, and optimistic about your future smile!
Smart Snacks to Try with Braces
There's a reason most patients treat themselves to ice cream after their appointment - cold foods and drinks can help reduce pain. If your go-to treat is ice cream, you might want to try frozen yogurt, sorbet, gelato, smoothies, iced tea, iced coffee, Jell-O (gelatin), pudding, custard, flan, yogurt, or applesauce.
Be sure you're still eating plenty of fresh fruits, like bananas, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries; harder fruit can be cut into bite-sized pieces that you can chew with your back teeth. Other tasty snacks include oatmeal with peanut butter or almond butter swirled in, muffins without nuts or chunks, and string cheese.
Meaty Meals to Try with Braces
Creamy, non-chunky soups (like tomato bisque) are perfect for days when your teeth and gums are tender. The hot soup will help promote blood flow to your mouth, aiding in healing. Other smart meal options include fish (like salmon and tuna), seafood (shrimp, crab cakes), chicken, and pork. For any meat on the menu, just be sure to remove it from the bone and cut it into small pieces first. Or you can try slow-cooked meat (like pulled pork BBQ), meatloaf, and meatballs. Healthy lunches might feature tuna or chicken salad or thinly sliced lunch meats. Vegetarians can opt for soft, plant-based proteins, such as refried beans, tofu and meat alternatives like Soyrizo.
Sensible Sides to Try with Braces
Alongside your protein, don't forget to dish up plenty of veggies. Mashed potatoes tend to be the top choice for patients with braces, but other options can offer some variety. Try soft-cooked carrots or squash or steamed greens, like kale and spinach. When preparing raw vegetables, be sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces. For filling and healthy grains, try pasta, tortillas, couscous, quinoa, risotto, or grits.
Foods to Avoid
Your orthodontist should have told you which foods to avoid, but you may have learned the hard way that you simply can't have chewy or sticky foods right now. Chips, sandwiches, bagels, nuts, small seeds and grains, and candy (including sugary breath mints) can damage your braces and lead to tooth decay, which can be more difficult to treat while undergoing orthodontics. If you're craving bread, choose a soft bread and try warming it first or breaking it into bite-sized pieces.
Learn More about Braces
Eating with braces can feel limiting, but it doesn't have to be boring or unhealthy. If you have any questions, or would like more information about orthodontic treatment, we invite you to contact our orthodontic care centers today.