August 28, 2019
Like any new adventure in life, choosing to improve your smile with braces from Dudley Smiles is exciting but can come with quite a few changes. While most of these are minor, some will take a bit of getting used to! For instance, food restrictions can be one of the biggest learning curves when it comes to braces. These limitations can be frustrating, especially in the early days of treatment, but avoiding certain types of food throughout the orthodontic process is necessary to protect your braces while we straighten your teeth.
It’s important to us that you feel confident in the treatment process, and we want to provide you with a positive orthodontic experience in a stress-free environment. To help you get a handle on some of the dietary changes on the horizon, we’ve put together this quick list of braces-friendly food you can safely indulge in. We’ve also included a few of our favorite tips for getting through your orthodontic journey with your smile and sense of humor intact. Keep reading below to learn more!
Hang in there: patience is key
Investing in your oral health is one of the best things you can do for yourself, but it does take time and effort. Whether you’re in braces for a few months or a few years, there will be times when you feel as though it’s taking forever. We promise this part is only temporary! Treatment will go much more smoothly for you if you can accept from the beginning that you’ll have a few limitations while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Follow our recommendations, stay positive, and before you know it, we’ll be removing your braces and revealing your brand new smile!
Healthy teeth lead to a healthier mouth (and a healthier YOU)
Oral care is always important, but when you’re in braces, it becomes even more essential to take good care of your teeth and gums. You should have a good dental hygiene routine in place the entire time you’re in treatment – and beyond that, too! We recommend that you brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss every night before bed. That’s not where oral care ends, though. You should also pay attention to your diet, and aim for food that’s rich in vitamins and minerals.
Foods you can emBRACE
Not all of us know what a healthy and varied diet looks like. Let us help! Below you’ll find some of our favorite foods that are good for your braces and your total body health.
Yogurt is high in calcium and protein, and also provides you with a boost of beneficial bacteria. The coolness and texture of it can be soothing if your mouth is feeling sore following an adjustment, and it’s an excellent choice for strengthening your teeth and improving your oral health. Enjoy it plain, Greek-style, or topped with fruit and honey, but be sure to brush your teeth afterwards since even plain yogurt contains naturally-occurring sugars.
Some days, eating can feel like a real chore. Nothing sounds good, and you just can’t seem to summon up the energy to make something. This may happen occasionally as a braces patient, and can be exacerbated by any feelings of tenderness after an appointment. Smoothies are great for times like these, and can provide you with a quick blast of healthy vitamins and minerals. There’s such a big variety of fruits, vegetables, and other add-ons to choose from that you’ll never get bored, and the temperature and texture can be soothing for sore teeth, too.
Chicken noodle soup
It’s not just for sick days! This comfort food is a staple for a reason. It’s packed with minerals, gelatin, and collagen that work together to build strong teeth and bones, so it nourishes your body while giving your jaws a break from chewing. The protein and vitamins found in a cup of chicken noodle soup can even speed up the rate at which you heal, which can be especially helpful if you’ve been experiencing any irritation or soreness in your mouth.
Even though these root vegetables are often relegated to Thanksgiving, they’re a delicious addition to any meal throughout the year! The keratin they contain helps tooth enamel form properly, and they’re full of vitamin A, which maintains the mucous membranes and soft tissue of the gums. With so many different ways to eat them, you can almost always count on sweet potatoes to provide you with a healthy and filling side that’s still soft enough to eat when your teeth and jaws are feeling tender.
Occasionally, you may have days where you don’t want to put any pressure on your teeth at all. This is relatively common right after your braces are put on, or following an adjustment appointment. Even bite-sized pieces of beef, pork, and chicken can feel like too much when you’re dealing with residual soreness!
Because it’s naturally soft and flaky, fish can be a fantastic alternative to tougher cuts of meat. Fattier fish like tuna and Atlantic salmon in particular are a great source of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb and use calcium more effectively. That’s a really good thing when it comes to improving your oral health, since calcium plays a big role in protecting the teeth and gums from disease.
It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that we mentioned words like soreness, swelling, and tenderness several times above. Don’t worry! It’s common for your mouth to feel slightly tender immediately after your braces are put on or following an adjustment, but this is only temporary. During this time, you may find it helpful to stick to softer foods, like soups, shakes, mashed potatoes, pasta, and rice. If you’re feeling like a little pick-me-up, frozen yogurt, popsicles, and ice cream taste great and can provide your mouth with some cool relief.
Make the most of your braces with support from Dudley Smiles
There’s no denying that braces require a little bit of extra effort on your part, especially where food is involved. But you’ll be surprised by how quickly the treatment process goes! Remember that making these changes to your teeth and jaws will benefit not only your smile, but many other aspects of your life as well. We think every single one of them is worth the wait!