Braces are a tried-and-true way to correct crooked teeth, realign bad bites, and improve your oral health, but the pressure they apply to your teeth may cause some initial discomfort.
You’ll get used to it in no time, and you’ll be chewing like a champ again soon, but in the meantime, give your teeth a break.
Dr. Andrey Gaiduchik and our team at Gaiduchik Orthodontics in Carmichael, California have some practical tips to help you choose the best braces-friendly foods whether you wear traditional metal braces, clear braces, self-ligating braces, or clear aligners.
Braces have one job — to move your teeth. And they get to work on day one.
As the braces push and pull your teeth toward their goal, it can make your teeth and your gums more sensitive. The constant force takes some getting used to. You may feel a dull ache when your mouth is idle, but as soon as you bite down and chew, the discomfort amps up.
The reason you feel greater discomfort at the beginning of your treatment is twofold. First, your teeth have never been forcibly moved before, and the experience is new and shocking. Second, your teeth are farthest away from their final destination when you begin your orthodontic treatment, so the force is greater. The closer they get to their goal position, the lighter the force.
All this is temporary, though, and your teeth become accustomed to the process, which is gradual and progressive over several months. You may feel slight soreness again when you come in for an adjustment, and if you do, keep this list of soft foods handy so you can give your teeth a break when needed.
When you first get your braces, you’re going to want to put Taco Tuesday on hold and forego steak, apples, and anything else that puts pressure on your newly braced teeth. Instead, opt for softer foods, like these.
A steaming bowl of oatmeal or other hot cereal is perfect when you first get your braces. You don’t have to chew it, and the warmth soothes sore teeth and gums.
Not only is yogurt soft, it’s also cooling, which can ease inflammation and pain. Choose a brand with no added sugar, and add some soft berries to boost the flavor.
Creamy, warm, and satisfying, mashed potatoes can fill you up without calling your teeth into action. Potatoes also have carbs for energy and are a good source of potassium and vitamin C.
Bananas — another easy-to-eat, high-potassium food — are great as a snack any time of day.
You can drink your bananas — or any other fruit or vegetable — by adding them to a smoothie. Try freezing the fruit before blending for a soothing, cool beverage.
To get some protein without chewing it, grab some eggs. No matter how you prepare them — scrambled, fried, souffleed, or even boiled — eggs go down easily.
You can enjoy applesauce cold or at room temperature. Either way, it’s easy to eat when you get your new braces, and you can pack a small cup in your purse or backpack so it’s ready when you are.
Jell-O comes in a variety of flavors and colors, it dissolves in your mouth, and it’s a classic go-to for anyone who’s had oral surgery or just got new braces. But beware: Some flavors have strong coloring that can stain your teeth.
Whether you favor creamy bisques or clear broths, soups are an excellent choice for new braces wearers. They are nutritious and smooth, and depending on your recipe, they may even contain pain- and inflammation-relieving ingredients, such as ginger, rosemary, turmeric, and capsaicin.
Dr. Gaiduchik is highly experienced and very gentle, and he wants your braces experience to be positive and painless. If you have pain or discomfort beyond the first week of your treatment, let us know. We may need to make a slight adjustment or offer you additional ways to ease the pain.
We’re here to answer all your braces questions. Contact us today by phone or online to schedule an appointment.