Choosing to improve your smile with braces from Szymanowski Orthodontics is exciting, but like anything new, it also comes with quite a few changes! When you look in the mirror, your smile will look different, and you might also find that your mouth feels a bit unfamiliar at first, too. Because your teeth won’t be touching the same way they did before, it can change the way you chew, and may even affect your speech temporarily, especially in the early days of treatment. But don’t worry! As your teeth begin shifting, your mouth will adapt, and chewing will start to feel more natural again. 

Within a month or so of having your braces put on, you should be able to eat most orthodontist-approved foods. However, there are certain food restrictions that will continue throughout your orthodontic journey. While all this effort will definitely be worth it once your braces are removed and your new smile revealed, we understand that these restrictions can be frustrating sometimes. 

At Szymanowski Orthodontics, it’s important to us that your time in braces is as comfortable and stress-free as possible! That’s why we’ve put together a few tips to help you cope with the chewing challenges that can come with braces, along with a list of some of the best foods you can eat as an orthodontic patient. Keep reading to learn about the 5 best foods for braces!

Patience is key

Orthodontic treatment is an important investment in your oral health, your total body health, and a straighter smile. While you’re in braces, it can feel like forever, but rest assured, they really are temporary! When you consider that the benefits last a lifetime, braces are a relatively brief time commitment, but patience is an important part of that process. If you can accept from the beginning that you’ll have a few limitations for a while, it will make things much easier on you. You can also help the treatment process go more smoothly by trying to:

slow down! We all do it from time to time, but try to avoid taking huge bites or scarfing down your food. No matter what you’re eating, take a little extra time to cut it into bite-sized pieces, and chew each piece slowly and carefully. 

stick to softer foods. Immediately after your braces are put on, and for a day or two following adjustment appointments, your mouth may feel tender. To put less pressure on the sore spots, look for foods that are soft, like soup, mashed potatoes, and smoothies.  While you can eventually add things like steak and burgers back to the menu, take it easy for a few days to protect your mouth and braces.

leave nuts and seeds in your backyard for the time being. As healthy as these items are, they’re a big no-no when you’re wearing braces. That’s because they can get stuck in your brackets, which may bend or break them. The same holds true for any sticky or crunchy foods, too. To get the most out of your braces, protect them by avoiding foods that can cause damage.

treat yourself! Indulging in a little frozen yogurt, a popsicle, or ice cream can be an excellent way to give your mouth some relief when it’s feeling sore. Just remember to brush your teeth thoroughly as soon as you’re done to keep them clean and healthy. 

5 braces-safe foods that are good for you

Oral health goes beyond simple brushing and flossing. To give your teeth and gums the best care when you’re in braces, you should be aiming to eat a healthy diet that’s rich and varied. There are many foods that are safe for braces and good for your teeth. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite below!

Smoothies

Smoothies are kind of a staple amongst braces patients. Both the temperature and texture can help soothe any oral discomfort you’re experiencing by decreasing swelling and creating a numbing sensation in your gums and teeth. With so many fruits and vegetables to choose from, the combinations are endless, which means they never get boring. Smoothies are also fun to make and easy to take with you on the go! Serve one in a glass on its own or in a bowl with healthy toppings for an extra boost of vitamins and minerals. 

Yogurt

Similar in texture to smoothies, yogurt can be an easy snack when your mouth is feeling sore. Whether you like it plain, Greek, or mixed with fruit and honey, yogurt is high in calcium and protein that helps strengthen your teeth. It also gives you an extra boost of beneficial bacteria thanks to the probiotics it naturally contains. This is good for your gums because it crowds out bad bacteria that can lead to cavities. Speaking of cavities, even plain yogurt has naturally-occurring sugars, so be sure to brush your teeth after you eat any. 

Eggs

Eggs are an extremely versatile food! You can have them breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and they can be eaten scrambled, boiled, or poached. No matter which way you like them, they will generally be soft enough even when your mouth is at its most tender. Eggs are also an excellent protein source, and rich in phosphorus, which helps to build strong bones and teeth when combined with calcium and Vitamin D. The protein contributes to keeping your teeth healthy, and reducing decay. 

Fish

Even when it’s cut up into small pieces, beef, pork, and chicken can be hard to manage if putting pressure on your teeth causes pain. Because it’s naturally soft and flaky, fish can be a fantastic alternative! The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have been linked with lower rates of gum disease because they naturally decrease inflammation. Fatty fish like salmon and Atlantic mackerel are also good sources of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb and use calcium effectively. Calcium is critical for oral health since it helps to protect the teeth and gums from disease.

Cooked fruits and veggies

It’s best to avoid raw fruits and vegetables with new braces, and you should really be careful with them throughout treatment since their crunch can be hard on brackets and wires. Baking, boiling, or roasting them makes them soft enough to eat with braces! Everyone knows eating a rainbow is good for your body, but fruits and veggies also contain vitamin C, which helps protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infections. 

The 5 Best Foods For Braces

Count on Szymanowski Orthodontics to help you through treatment

As orthodontic specialists, we know that braces can be tricky sometimes, especially when it comes to food. We hope this guide will help you make good choices for your teeth and body! You don’t need to suffer to get straighter teeth, and that’s why our expert team is committed to providing you with comfortable treatment options and the highest quality care.

If you’re a current braces patient and have any questions or concerns about your treatment plan, Szymanowski Orthodontics is always here to help. If you’ve been thinking about improving your smile with braces or any other orthodontic care in the Sacramento area, get in touch with our office and we’ll be happy to schedule a FREE consultation for you!