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Living with Braces Part 1 – What do I eat?

Eating tootsie rolls when you have braces is a bad thing. Actually, eating tootsie rolls is always a bad thing if you’re trying to stay healthy. Come to think of it, people that are trying to stay healthy actually eat a lot of the same things we’re going to recommend for our patients with braces. If you’re a new patient with braces, whether they are Invisalign or metal braces, this article will tell you what you should eat – and what you shouldn’t.

Corn on the Cob and Braces? Not so much…

First, let’s start with sweets. We’ll tackle the big thing first. The most important thing you can do to protect your investment (and braces are an investment), is to cut down on sugar. We know you won’t be able to help yourself the next time you’re craving an ice cream sundae, but try to cut down. Sticky foods will also stick to your braces, and they can mess up with wires and cause the brackets to loosen.

Of course, you can sneak a sweet treat with Invisalign braces, because you pull the trays off to eat. That’s a huge benefit of the technology. Just make sure you floss and brush before putting the trays back on your teeth.

While you’re cutting back on candy, soda, and other sweets, make sure you also avoid really hard, crunchy foods and snacks. Popcorn, hard candy, and nuts are kind of a no-no with wire braces. If you’re having an apple, cut it into smaller pieces and take your time crunching on it. That will help protect the little wires surrounding your teeth. Try cutting the corn off the cob, and make sure you floss after eating it. You can cut up that candy apple, too, but the caramel isn’t a great idea unless you want to spend a half hour taking that sticky mess off your wires.

But don’t be too sad – the process of having braces is always worth the end result. Having a straight, white, bright smile is your goal so keep your eyes on the prize!

How Do I Eat with These Things?

The first month after getting your braces is going to be challenging. Chewing is going to feel different because your teeth and how you chew are getting realigned. So chewing will be uncomfortable and feel kind of odd, to begin with. Over time, you’ll adjust to this process, so just take a deep breath and be patient – you can do this.

One thing that can help is to chew foods more slowly. Watch out for melted, sticky cheeses, which can get caught in your braces. Maybe even cut up your spaghetti, instead of rolling it on your fork, for the same reason. Try biting from the sides of your mouth, because it will be harder at first to bite from the front. You should take foods like burritos, and cut them into bite-sized pieces, instead of digging in with your face, too. Cold foods can also help during the first few weeks. The cool will feel nice against your gums.

Don’t hesitate to call us if you become too uncomfortable or if you need advice on adjusting to your braces.

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