When it comes to achieving a straighter smile, many people opt to rectify and improve their teeth by using braces. However, when you first start orthodontic treatment you may experience some difficulty when it comes to tucking into your favourite foods.
Whether you’re wearing metal, lingual or ceramic braces, it’s highly likely that you will have to adapt the way you chew and eat during your orthodontic treatment. But don’t worry, there are lots of tips that you can call upon to help you cope!
We complied a list of 10 helpful tips when it comes to eating during orthodontic treatment:
1. Take it slow
When you’re tucking into your favourite meal, it can sometimes be difficult not to wolf it down in one swift bite! But, when you’re wearing braces, it is vital that you chew your food slowly and carefully.
2. Avoid stringy foods with braces
When you are having orthodontic treatment, you really should make a conscious effort to avoid stringy foods as these can become lodged and wrapped around your braces. With this in mind, if your favourite foods are spaghetti or mozzarella cheese, you should steer clear of them whilst wearing your brace, or at least cut them up into smaller, more manageable pieces.
3. Soft food!
As you may experience some pain and discomfort when your treatment is started, soft foods such as mashed potato are great comfort foods to tuck into. And don’t worry, in no time at all, you’ll be able to dig into that big juicy steak again – we promise!
4. All scream for ice-cream!
When you first get your brace fitted, it really is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a whole host of soothing and delicious foods, and top of that list is ice-cream! Other foods such as ice lollies and frozen yogurt are also perfect for soothing the temporary tenderness you are likely to experience when your braces are first fitted.
5. Nuts and seeds will not be your friend
You should definitely avoid nuts and seeds as these are notorious for getting stuck in-between your brackets. And, although it’s relatively easy to brush them out, they will drive you crazy until you remove them!
And the same applies when it comes to sticky foods and popcorn, as these can also become lodged in your brackets.
Sushi is particularly challenging to eat during orthodontic treatment. You should always steer on the side of caution when you are eating it.
7. Bite using the side of your mouth
At the start of your treatment you will find that it is virtually impossible to bite into any food using the front of your teeth! Instead, you should bite using the side of your teeth.
8. Soups and shakes
They might not seem the most appealing sources of food, but they will really be a godsend when you first start orthodontic treatment, so get used to them!
9. Watch out for large chunks
As a general rule, when you are wearing braces, you should avoid foods that may be concealing large chunks of food, which could be difficult to chew and consume. For example large pieces of meat, vegetables or foods such as burritos are a no go!
10. Use dental wax over your braces
Of course during orthodontic treatment it is important that you maintain a happy, healthy and balanced diet. With this in mind, if it does become too uncomfortable to eat because of mouth sores or uncomfortable brackets, you should apply plenty of dental wax to your braces.
When you first start orthodontic treatment the first few weeks are definitely the worst. But don’t worry, they will soon settle into your mouth, your gums will naturally toughen up with scar tissue and you will get used to having to eat and chew differently.