If you or your child are getting braces on for the first time, you may have some questions. How long will you need to wear them? How do you keep them clean? How do you keep them comfortable? And most importantly–what do you eat with braces on? Thankfully, our team at Serrano Orthodontics is here to help you with all those areas! Today, we want to focus on what you should and shouldn’t eat while wearing braces.
What to Eat When Braces First Come On
The goal at the very beginning of your treatment is to nourish your body while being extra gentle on your teeth. Your smile will likely feel sore for a few days as you first adjust to the braces, so it’s worth it to stock up on some extra soft and comforting foods. We’re talking soups, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, soft cheese, bananas, yogurt, and things like that. Avoid citrus fruits, spicy foods, and extreme temperatures for a few days, as they can aggravate your sensitive teeth.
Cooking For Braces
Generally, it’s a good idea to prioritize cooking down foods into their softest forms while the braces are on. This means steaming and sauteing veggies, so they are not crunchy, shredding and cutting up chewy meat or bread, and cutting off the crust of your pizza. Baked goods like casseroles and meatloaf are a hit, and cooked pasta, rice, beans, and other grains are nourishing and totally “braces-friendly.”
The Best Foods During Treatment
Now let’s dive into the variety of delicious and nutritious foods you can enjoy with braces! As a general rule, as long as it’s not too crunchy or hard, or super sticky, you can probably eat it, but be sure to reference Dr. Paul and Dr. Andrew Serrano when you have any questions. Just a few examples would include eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese and other soft cheeses, pudding, oatmeal, pancakes and waffles, pastries, and soft, cut-up fruits for breakfast.
For lunch, you can have all kinds of sandwiches like PB&Js, deli meats, and grilled cheese. And feel free to eat bananas, cooked veggies, soups, and more. For dinner, we love to recommend meatloaf, meatballs and pasta, fish with steamed vegetables, or salad without crunchy vegetables. You can also have mashed potatoes, casseroles and so much more! There are so many options, so feel free to get creative as long as it is soft and not too crunchy. And again, reference our team if you have any concerns along the way.
What Foods To Avoid With Braces
As we have mentioned above, there are some general food textures that you should avoid during the time you are wearing your braces. Crunchy, hard, chewy, and sticky are all things you will want to avoid. This might be raw fruits and veggies, ice, chewy cuts of meat, chips and pretzels, popcorn, nuts, gum, hard candies, chewy candy like caramel and taffy, pizza crusts, and more.
We know it can be a bummer at first to miss out on some of your favorite foods, but we promise that it will be worth your while. Preventing broken brackets and wires will keep you on track to finish your treatment on time, and preventing foods from getting trapped beneath your braces can help keep your teeth safe from plaque and tooth decay.
What About Drinks?
We are happy to say that most drinks are fine to enjoy when you have braces. Our only word of caution is to keep an eye on your sugar intake. Sugar, especially in liquid forms like soda and juices, can coat your teeth and encourage plaque growth. When you have braces, it is more difficult to scrub the sugar away when you brush and floss, meaning some might stay trapped beneath brackets and wires.
As long as you are eating and drinking sugar in moderation and staying diligent with your oral hygiene routine, you should be safe. But check in with your care team at Serrano Orthodontics regularly at your scheduled visits to make sure that your teeth are looking healthy and no tooth decay is taking place.
Don’t Forget the Sweets!
As we just mentioned above, sugar in moderation is okay when you have braces. Here are a few of our favorite recommendations for treats: ice cream and milkshakes, chocolate and candy bars (without caramel or nuts), marshmallows, and soft baked goods like pastries, cookies, brownies, and cake.
Let Our Team at Serrano Orthodontics Help You Thrive!
At Serrano Orthodontics, we are a family business, and love helping other families take care of their oral health. Getting braces with the help of our team will be a breeze, and you’ll see how fast you make it through treatment to enjoy that stunning, straight smile on the other side. We see patients in our Phoenix and Chandler offices, so if you are in the area, get in touch with us to get started on your treatment plan!