Here at Sandifer Orthodontics, we want your experience with us to be positive and stress-free, from your first appointment to your last. Choosing to improve your smile with braces is exciting, but like anything new, it will also come with a few adjustments. Most of these changes are relatively minor, but some will take some getting used to.
The food restrictions that come with traditional braces treatment can be one of the most significant learning curves. But although they can be a source of frustration in the beginning, these restrictions are necessary to protect your braces and teeth during treatment.
All your hard work will be worth it once your braces come off and your beautiful new smile is revealed, but we want to make things easier for you in the meantime. That’s why Dr. Camille Sandifer has put together this helpful list of braces-friendly foods you can indulge in with our approval! Keep reading below for more information on handling the dietary challenges you’ll face in the months ahead.
Hang in there – braces don’t last forever
There’s no denying that it takes time and effort to improve your oral health and straighten your smile. Whether you’re in braces for a few months or a few years, there will always be days when it feels like treatment will last forever. We promise this part is only temporary! If you prepare to have a few limitations for a while, your treatment will go much more smoothly. Before you know it, your braces will be off, and you’ll be looking at your brand-new smile in the mirror!
Dental hygiene is even more essential as a braces patient
Oral care is important at any time, but when wearing braces, it becomes even more essential to take good care of your teeth and gums. You should have a good oral hygiene routine throughout the treatment process and beyond to keep your smile in shape.
We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice daily for two minutes and flossing every night before bed. Taking care of your mouth doesn’t stop there, either! You should aim to eat a diet that’s rich and varied in vitamins and minerals. You may be worried about managing that when you already have restrictions on what you can eat, but rest assured, you can still eat a wide range of healthy foods while wearing braces!
This may not seem obvious since many kinds of cereal are crunchy or sharp, but most will soften if you let them sit in milk for a few minutes. If “soggy” cereal doesn’t sound appealing, consider oatmeal or grits instead.
Hard bread can pose a problem when you have braces, but there are plenty of other bread products you can enjoy, including bagels and sliced sandwich bread. You can still toast them but use a very light setting. The same applies to frozen waffles or french toast sticks.
Most fruits are fine to eat while in braces, though you may need to take a few precautions. For example, apples should be sliced into smaller pieces or blended into a smoothie or juice first since biting into it whole can cause damage. You should also pay attention to fruits that have seeds or pits. Peaches, nectarines, and cherries are soft on the outside, but if you accidentally bite down on the hard inner core, it can bend or even break a bracket.
Soup isn’t just for sick days! It’s nutritious and filling, and there’s little to no chewing involved, making it perfect for days when your mouth feels a little tender, thanks to adjustment appointments.
Tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers cut into small pieces are all orthodontist-approved, but steer clear of croutons! Salads are also full of vitamins and minerals that can help protect your teeth from cavities and tooth decay, so they’re an all-around winner when it comes to foods you can eat while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
As long as your sandwiches are made with soft bread, you can eat them as often as you like! Ham, tuna, deli-sliced chicken, and cheese are common fillings compatible with braces. Cutting your sandwich into smaller pieces for easier consumption can sometimes be helpful. Bread can get stuck in your braces, so be sure to have a toothbrush and toothpaste with you at all times so you can brush after meals and snacks.
Because it’s naturally soft and flaky, fish can be a fantastic alternative to meats like beef and pork when your mouth is feeling sore. Fattier fish like tuna and salmon, in particular, are a great source of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb and use calcium more effectively.
Rice and pasta
These starchy staples are easy to eat and won’t cause any issues with your braces. There are many choices with rice and pasta as the base, but be careful when adding other elements. For example, if you add chicken, it should be soft and shredded or cut into small pieces. Meatballs should be tender and not overbaked. If you’re adding cheese, make sure it’s melted and not baked until it has a crunch!
You should avoid raw vegetables, especially in the early days of treatment. Carrots, celery, and other crunchy veggies can cause problems with your braces, but boiling, baking, or steaming them will take care of that! Corn shouldn’t be eaten on the cob, but it’s fine on its own. Most other veggies are great options for braces however you choose to cook and consume them.
For the best in braces treatment, trust Sandifer Orthodontics!
Braces require a bit of extra effort, especially where food is involved, but you’ll be surprised at how time flies. It can be helpful to remember that making changes to your diet will benefit not only your smile but many other aspects of your life as well. Improving your oral health, total body health, and smile makes the wait worth it!
If you’re in Jackson or Brandon, we’d love to meet you and share more about how orthodontics can give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Camille Sandifer and start your smile transformation!