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What Can I Eat with Braces? A Comprehensive Guide

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The bracket system is a non-removable orthodontic construction installed to correct the bite and align the teeth. It is an effective solution. However, for the system to function well, it is important to observe certain restrictions. Proper care of the braces is necessary; one should not bite pen tips and pencils or use toothpicks. Engaging in boxing, karate, hockey, and other similar sports is allowed only if a protective mouthguard is worn. Most restrictions, however, pertain to food.

Diet in the first days after installing braces

diet in the first days after installing braces

After the orthodontic construction is fixed on the teeth, the adaptation period begins. Its duration depends on the type of bracket system, the method of installation, and the individual characteristics of the patient. The patient may experience pain and discomfort. Some people feel as if their teeth are loose while eating. This can last for 2-3 days.

The adaptation period is more difficult if the braces are:

  • Made of metal;

Installed on both jaws.

  • During this time, it is difficult or even impossible to eat solid food. Therefore, the diet should consist of liquid or soft foods. The menu may include:
  • Pureed soups;
  • Broths;
  • Liquid porridges;
  • Fish, vegetable, or meat patties steamed;
  • Yogurts;
  • Cottage cheese;
  • Milkshakes;
  • Semi-liquid cottage cheese;
  • Smoothies;
  • Jelly;

Juices, fruit drinks.

The diet can be supplemented with baby food based on meat, fruits, or vegetables. It contains vitamins, microelements, and other beneficial substances necessary for the body. At the same time, it is soft, does not harm the orthodontic construction, and does not injure the gums.

These recommendations apply not only in the first days after installing braces. For some time after replacing the arches or tightening the ligatures, they should also be followed because the impact on the teeth increases again.

  • It is important to listen to your feelings. If some products are not on the list of non-recommended items but cause pain and discomfort, they should also be avoided.

What not to eat with braces

Orthodontic constructions are made of strong, durable materials capable of withstanding long-term chewing loads. However, they can be damaged or broken. Consuming non-recommended products can also lead to the development of caries and other dental diseases.

What products are restricted?

  • Hard foods: nuts, rusks, bagels, chips, seeds, carrots, hard apples, caramel, nougat, tough meat, especially jerky, bread with a crispy crust. Any food that requires effort when biting should be avoided. The consequences of excessive load can be damage to the metal arch, rupture of the ligature, or detachment of the plate from the tooth surface.
  • Sticky, viscous foods: toffee, marmalade, processed cheese, cornflakes, nougat, pastille, dried fruits. Chewing gum is not food but is also on this list. These products stick to the elements of the bracket system, damaging it. They can penetrate the interdental spaces, which are difficult to clean, provoking enamel destruction, causing caries and gum inflammation.
  • Foods containing coloring pigments: carbonated drinks, juices, beets, coffee, berries, strong black tea, red wine. This restriction applies to patients with braces made of plastic, ceramics, or artificial sapphire. Despite the high quality of these materials, prolonged exposure to coloring pigments can change the color of the construction. Its aesthetic characteristics will deteriorate. The ligatures of metal braces can also become stained, but they can be easily replaced if necessary.

What can be eaten

The list of restrictions is not very long. However, children and teenagers often worry, even get scared. They ask what they can eat while wearing braces. You can eat anything that is not prohibited, keeping in mind your own sensations.

In this article, we explain what food is suitable for people who have to wear non-removable orthodontic constructions. These include:

  • Any soups;
  • Meat dishes, if the meat is finely chopped or ground;
  • Stewed meat and fish dishes;
  • All side dishes, provided they are well cooked;
  • Soft bakery products;
  • Well-cooked porridge;
  • Casseroles;
  • Soft pastries;
  • Eggs, omelets, fried eggs;
  • Cheese – not only soft but also hard;
  • Meat and fish pâtés;
  • Kefir and other fermented milk products;

Vegetables and fruits – except hard, dense, sticky ones.

If a product seems hard but is not on the restriction list, it is better to grate it or cut it into small pieces. This way, it won't need to be bitten off, reducing the load on the orthodontic system.

In case of allergies or intolerance to certain foods, the diet can be adjusted, and some restrictions can be softened. However, this should only be done with the doctor's approval.

  • It is useful to drink more water. This not only aids digestion but also helps swallow poorly chewed food and washes away its remnants from the teeth and orthodontic system.

General rules for eating with braces

general rules for eating with braces

All prohibitions, restrictions, and recommendations are temporary. They can be abandoned when the doctor removes the orthodontic system. But until then, they must be followed to ensure the treatment yields the expected result.

Try not to bite food, but cut it into small pieces. It is better to grind hard fruits and vegetables in a blender beforehand.

Eat carefully and slowly. Chew food well so that it is better digested.

Elastics – orthodontic bands used in the final stage of teeth correction – should be removed before eating. After brushing your teeth, put them back in place.

Limit the consumption of sugar and foods high in acids. They destroy tooth enamel and increase the risk of cavities.

Do not clean interdental spaces with toothpicks. They are sharp and can injure the mucous membrane or damage the braces.

Create a balanced menu that meets the needs of your body. The diet should provide you with the necessary amount of vitamins, fiber, magnesium, calcium, and other beneficial substances. This helps maintain the health of teeth and gums, allowing you to avoid additional treatment.

Do not eat food that is too cold or too hot. This is harmful to tooth enamel and orthodontic systems. It is important not to combine very hot and very cold food in one meal – temperature fluctuations are also harmful to teeth. Ideally, food should be at room temperature.

Bad habits

The condition of teeth and the orthodontic constructions installed on them are affected not only by food and drinks. Lifestyle also matters.

The main rule is to avoid subjecting braces to excessive loads.

You need to give up the habit of biting the tip of a pen or pencil, biting your nails, or cracking nuts with your teeth. This can break the system.

It is undesirable to smoke while wearing non-removable constructions. Orthodontists do not impose strict prohibitions but note that tobacco smoke causes "smoker's plaque" on the surface of the teeth – dark spots that are difficult to remove. Also, the arches may deform, and the plates and ligatures change color under the influence of tobacco smoke.

You should not consume alcoholic beverages – they contain high amounts of sugar and other substances that destroy enamel and change its color. Alcohol also dries out the oral mucosa, making it more vulnerable to negative factors, increasing the risk of inflammation and injury caused by contact with elements of the orthodontic construction.

Additional Restrictions

Additional Restrictions

Braces are most often worn by children and teenagers. They and their parents often ask questions about specific foods – whether they are allowed to be consumed. Therefore, it is necessary to provide more details about the foods that are popular among children and teenagers.

Can you chew gum

Chewing gum is strictly prohibited. It is incompatible with any orthodontic constructions. Specifically regarding braces, the problem is that gum sticks to the brackets and wires. This can lead to the deformation of wire elements and the breakdown of the entire system.

Why can't you eat ice cream with braces

This product does not fall into the category of hard or sticky foods. However, it has another drawback – it is cold. When wearing non-removable orthodontic constructions, you should not consume very cold or very hot foods and drinks.

The only exception is soft ice cream. You can buy regular ice cream and let it melt a bit. In this case, it can be eaten. After that, you need to clean your teeth especially thoroughly to avoid cavities.

Is chocolate allowed with braces

You can consume this product if it is:

  • Soft, milk chocolate;

Does not contain hard inclusions – raisins, nuts, cookie pieces.

But it can only be eaten in small quantities because it can stain ceramic and sapphire elements.

  • You should not eat hard chocolate as it can damage the braces. Milk chocolate should not be cooled in the refrigerator because it becomes too hard when cooled.

Why is popcorn prohibited with braces

Popcorn is sticky and chewy. There are also hard kernels in popcorn that can damage the orthodontic construction and cause pain. Small pieces can get stuck under the elements of the bracket system, making them difficult to remove.

How to clean braces after eating

Proper care of the orthodontic system is an important condition for the effective correction of the bite or alignment of the teeth. Remember, you will have to give up chewing gum.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after every meal. Use:

  • A special brush for orthodontic constructions;
  • A single-tuft brush – it allows you to thoroughly clean the enamel around each bracket;
  • Dental floss and interdental brushes – to clean the spaces between teeth and other hard-to-reach places;
  • An irrigator – it not only makes oral care more effective but also additionally massages the gums, stimulating blood circulation in them, which is beneficial for tissue nutrition.

If your doctor has prescribed wearing elastics, do not neglect this. They can only be removed when you eat and brush your teeth.

You should visit the dental clinic every 3-4 months for professional teeth cleaning. The dental hygienist will perform a set of procedures to thoroughly clean the system, remove trapped food particles, and accumulated plaque.

Proper oral hygiene helps maintain the health of your teeth and reduces the risk of cavities and other diseases.

The AESTHETE dental clinic is located in Dubai (UAE), Bluewaters Island. We provide services for installing braces for adults and children, offering the possibility to install systems of various types made of metal, ceramics, and artificial sapphire. Our dentists will offer a suitable solution based on the individual characteristics and wishes of the patient. They will also explain how to care for braces, what restrictions to observe, and what foods not to eat while wearing the orthodontic construction.

If you have any questions, contact the administrator. They will help you choose a time for a visit to the doctor and schedule a consultation.