Eating with Braces

Congratulations! You just got your new braces. You’re well on your way toward a straighter, healthier smile. It may feel a bit strange to have all that metal in your mouth for the first time. Don’t worry. You’ll get used to it.

In the meantime, it’s wise to develop good habits—customs and routines that will help you keep your braces in tip-top shape from the moment your orthodontist puts them on to the moment he takes them off. Taking care of your new braces starts, first and foremost, with solid eating habits.

Why Do I Have to Watch What I Eat?

Every year, braces get stronger and better. As time goes by, improvements in orthodontic technology makes it easier to straighten teeth by cutting down on the discomfort and the hassle. Still, braces are intricate appliances. They come with many different pieces that require special care. In spite of all the advances, they’re prone to break if not handled correctly.

That means you need to be careful about what you eat and how you eat it. You’ll still be able to enjoy the vast majority of foods, but there are a few no-nos—treats and snacks you want to avoid at all costs while wearing braces.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

Basically, you want to avoid anything sticky or hard. Sticky food can adhere to the brackets or wires in your mouth. Not only is that gross and uncomfortable, it could also damage your braces.

Hard foods can also break the metal brackets and the wires that connect them. If that happens, you’ll be back in the Labbe Family Orthodontics waiting room in no time for a tune-up. While we would love to see you, we’d prefer it if you steer clear of these potentially hazardous foods:

  • Sticky candy
  • Hard candy
  • Gum
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Pretzels
  • Hard cookies
  • Hard chocolate
  • Sticky chocolate
  • Hard crackers
  • Ice
  • Hard taco shells
  • Corn chips

Other Foods that Require Vigilance

You should also be careful when eating any other hard, cold, or chewy foods. You don’t need to avoid raw vegetables, fruits, rolls, pizzas, steaks, and burgers, but you should be careful when you bite into them.

The key is to avoid sinking your front teeth into them. Instead, cut or break your food into small pieces, small enough so you put the entire thing in your mouth and take small bites. No matter what food you’re eating, chew slowly and carefully. That will cut down on the potential for damage and the chances that you’ll need emergency repairs.

Best Foods to Eat with Braces

It may seem a bit daunting at first, but you’ll soon find that there are plenty of delicious foods you can enjoy while wearing braces. Obviously, the ideal meal will be composed primarily of soft, healthy foods. The following foods, for example, are perfect for people with braces:

  • Cheese
  • Soups
  • Turkey
  • Eggs and egg dishes
  • Meatloaf
  • Grapes
  • Pasta and noodles
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Smoothies
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Melons
  • Sandwiches
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Chili
  • Pudding

Eating with braces can be a bit overwhelming for the first few days or weeks. The good news is that you’ll get used to it in no time. For the most part, you can stick to your normal diet, minus a few hard and sticky treats. As long as you’re careful, you should have no trouble.

Tips, Tricks, and Fixes

Want more tips and tricks from the team at Labbe Family Orthodontics? Schedule an appointment with our friendly staff. We’re full of good advice for keeping your mouth healthy and your teeth straight. Need emergency repairs after biting into a forbidden food? No worries. We have offices in Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton, and Greenbelt, so you can get a quick fix at a location near you.

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