First impression

Having braces means that when they come off, you’ll have straight teeth and a beautiful smile. The time spent wearing them, however, can be problematic, especially when it comes to eating. Many foods can get stuck in your braces, and some foods can even break them. You have to change your eating habits when you wear braces, and these are some tips to make it easier.

The first few weeks that you have braces are the hardest because you will probably be sore, and eating may be painful. Stick to soft foods and avoid anything with large chunks of meat. Nuts and popcorn are off the menu for awhile. In the first few weeks some foods will simply cause pain when you try to eat them, and you will know to avoid them. After awhile, you may be able to eat harder foods with your braces without pain, but you still need to be careful because of problems that can develop.

Sticky foods like taffy, caramel and gummy candy can get stuck in your braces and are difficult to clean off. If you can eat hard foods without pain after a few weeks, you should still break it up into smaller pieces. Hard foods can break your braces if you are not careful. Avoid biting into hard foods with your front teeth; instead, bite with the side teeth.

Invisalign was huge relief for our teen who did not want regular braces. Dr. Lu made the process simple and now our teenager is a young man with a great smile. Thanks, Dr. Lu!
– Wendy, Alexandria, VA

Since brushing and flossing your teeth can be more difficult while wearing braces, it is especially important during this time to avoid foods that are high in sugar or starch. Plaque buildup when you have braces can be harder to clean and cause additional problems. White spots on the teeth under the brackets are caused by decay, so to avoid this and other oral health problems, stick to a healthy diet.

There are a surprising amount of soft foods that are great for eating when you wear braces. In addition to the obvious things like applesauce, yogurt and mashed potatoes, many types of meat are fine if they are chopped or soft. Vegetables are soft enough when cooked, and many types of soft cheeses work with braces. For ideas, search online or ask the dentist. You can keep a list of braces-friendly foods so you’ll always have ideas, and you may be surprised at the number of delicious foods and recipes you may not have thought of.

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