10 Best Foods to Eat After Getting Braces

It’s not uncommon for braces to feel uncomfortable after having them first placed or tightened. This discomfort will subside, but it can make eating and chewing difficult at first. Braces work by applying pressure to align the teeth, which can cause temporary oral pain. While some patients are not bothered by the discomfort of braces, others may find that it is difficult to bite down and chew because of the initial soreness. By eating soft or liquid foods and avoiding hard or chewy options, you’ll experience less pain and sensitivity while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Here are some options to consider if you’re experiencing discomfort from your braces:

1. Yogurt

cups of yogurt

Yogurt is soft and cold, which makes it easy to consume and even helps to alleviate oral pain. Also, yogurt is available in many different styles and flavors, so you can choose what fits your tastes the best. Just be careful with particularly sugary yogurts and make sure to keep your mouth and braces clean. The sugar can lead to plaque and cavities if you do not practice good oral hygiene.

2. Oatmeal

Bowl of oatmeal

Oatmeal is another excellent option if your mouth is sore after getting braces. The warmth of the oatmeal can even help with swelling and inflammation. It’s also easy to prepare and can be ready to eat in minutes if you’re looking for a quick snack option.

3. Bananas

Sliced up bananas

Ripe bananas are a healthy choice if you’re looking to curb your hunger after having your braces installed. Try to choose bananas that are slightly brown, as this means they’re softer and will put less pressure on your teeth. The softer the banana, the easier it is going to be for you to chew. You can even add banana to your oatmeal or yogurt for an extra treat!

4. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are pretty easy to prepare and are effortless to consume because virtually no chewing is required. If you don’t want to make homemade mashed potatoes, opt for instant potatoes that can be done either in the microwave or on the stovetop by adding just a couple of ingredients. Also, this option is usually less chunky and easier to ingest than homemade mashed potatoes.

5. Jello

bowl of jello

Jello is a staple go-to for anyone having oral surgery or orthodontic treatment. It’s easy to consume and can make for a refreshingly light snack or dessert. Add a bit of whipped cream to the top and you’ll have a decadent treat that won’t affect your braces. Do keep in mind that certain flavors have more food coloring than others, though, and could potentially stain the teeth if you’re not careful.

6. Eggs

carton of eggs

Eggs are simple to prepare and can be eaten in a variety of ways. They are a great way to get protein in your diet after you get braces, especially if steak or chicken are causing you too much discomfort. Hard-boiled or fried eggs are fine, but you may find scrambled eggs easier to chew because of the softer consistency.

7. Smoothies

Blackberry smoothie

Smoothies are packed with fiber and vitamins, making them a wonderfully nutritious option when you’re avoiding solid foods after having your braces installed. By adding a variety of frozen or thawed fruits into a blender, you’ll enjoy a cold, tasty treat or meal substitute. Try adding in some spinach or other greens to get a serving of vegetables as well!

8. Soups and Broth

bowl of soup

Soups are an obvious choice after getting braces because they are easy to eat and require little to no chewing. Be sure to opt for soups that have plenty of broth rather than ones with a lot of hard ingredients. Blended recipes are also a great option, such as creamy soups or bisques. Soup is warm, which can help in relieving pain and discomfort as well as alleviating inflammation.

9. Applesauce

bowl of applesauce

Applesauce is a great food choice when you’re dealing with pain and discomfort from braces. It can be enjoyed at room temperature or cold, depending on your own tastes. It’s also an easy snack to pack in your bag or purse for days when you’re on the go. It’s also a great source of fiber and low in saturated fats, so you know you’re getting a healthy snack with applesauce.

10. Ice Cream

Bowl of ice cream

Ice cream isn’t just delicious, but the cold temperature can help with discomfort as well as relieving inflammation and swelling that you might be experiencing after you get braces. Avoid hard ice creams or ones with chunks of ingredients mixed in. The last thing you want to do when you’re experiencing pain from your braces is to bite down on a chewy marshmallow or hard piece of chocolate.

Foods to Avoid

Both metal braces and ceramic braces involve brackets and wiring that can make cleaning your teeth difficult. Even with the best toothbrush and orthodontic-approved flossing device, it can still be impossible to reach certain areas. Because of this, it’s critical to avoid eating certain foods that can get caught in hard-to-reach areas. Likewise, avoid foods that cause stains and leave your teeth looking discolored after having the braces removed. Some of the foods you should avoid when you have braces include:

• Nuts
• Hard fruits and veggies (carrot sticks, apples, corn on the cob)
• Bagels and hard bread
• Chewy and hard candies (caramel, fruit snacks)
• Gum
• Pretzels
• Beef jerky
• Popcorn
• Ice

By eating soft foods both after having your braces placed, as well as one or two days after having them tightened, you’ll find that you experience less discomfort and pain. By staying away from hard, sticky and tacky foods, you can prevent your braces from breaking and needing replacements also. Likewise, sticking to a softer diet and avoiding certain foods can prevent staining and tooth decay. If you need more guidance or suggestions on what to eat with braces, you can always contact your orthodontist with questions.

About the Author

Dr. Scott Futch

Dr. Scott F. Futch, DDS

Dr. Scott Futch has been a clinical director for Absolute Dental since April 2017. Dr. Futch graduated from University of Michigan School of Dentistry and completed his training at the Dawson Academy; a postgraduate multi-disciplinary education clinical research facility dedicated to the advancement of dentistry. Dr. Futch has had over 25 years of experience as a skilled clinician, mentor and coach.

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