From tweens to adults, there are a number of people who undergo orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth and improve their bite. While treatment can be designed to accommodate your individual lifestyle, there are some dietary modifications that you will need to make. This is to prevent significant damage to your braces and avoid having to prolong your treatment. Read on to learn more.
How to Manage the First Few Days
When you first get your braces, you may not necessarily be in serious pain. However, you will be in some discomfort and your teeth will likely be sensitive and tender. For that reason, you'll want to eat soft foods. Plus, the adhesive may still be curing and hard foods could cause them dislodge. Some of the best soft foods that you can eat during this time include:
- Breakfast – Smoothies, eggs and yogurt.
- Lunch – Cucumbers, fine-sliced apples and carrot ribbons.
- Dinner – Mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and soups.
- Dessert – Milk shakes, ice cream and pumpkin cake.
Dietary Restrictions That You Must Follow
Your diet doesn't have to change too much from before you had braces. However, there will be some foods that are strictly off-limits. These foods can cause your brackets to become loose, cause the wires to dislodge or otherwise damage the orthodontic appliances. The foods on the "Must Avoid List" include:
- Hard Foods – Ice chips, peanuts, peanut brittle and hard candy.
- Chewy Foods – Taffy, beef jerky, bagels and chewing gum.
- Crunchy Foods – Pretzels, taco shells and chips.
By failing to avoid these foods, you could extend your orthodontic treatment time. This is particularly true if you continue to eat foods that result in chronic appliance damage.
You Can Still Enjoy Your Favorite Foods
Many teens and adults think that their lives are over when they get braces because they have to give up their all-time favorite foods. Luckily, some foods can be modified so that they can still be enjoyed. It's all in the way that the foods are cooked. Here are some ideas:
- Carrots – Steam or roast them so that they are much softer and easier to eat.
- Corn – Remove it from the cob.
- Apples and Pears – These hard fruits can be cut into bite-size pieces so that excessive chewing and biting into the fruit isn't necessary.
- Nuts – Grind them up and add them to your yogurt.
- Hard Cookies – Start dipping your cookies into a glass of milk so they're softer.
- Hard Candy – Avoid biting and only suck on the candy – even when you get down to the last little bit.
If you are worried about whether a certain food is safe for you to consume while undergoing orthodontic treatment, most dentists will urge you to err on the side of caution. However, don't hesitate to contact your orthodontist to ask questions about your diet.
For more information, contact a professional like Aspen Orthodontics.