Taking the first steps towards better oral health and a straighter smile with McGrory Orthodontics can be really exciting! Orthodontic treatment can improve your life in many ways, but it also comes with quite a few changes. While most of these changes are relatively minor, some do take a bit of getting used to, like the food restrictions that accompany treatment with traditional braces.
Food restrictions can actually be one of the biggest learning curves when it comes to braces. Although it is often frustrating, especially in the beginning, avoiding certain types of food during treatment is necessary to protect both your braces and your teeth.
It’s important to us that you have a positive, stress-free orthodontic experience, and we work hard to make that happen. To help you get a handle on the dietary changes you may be facing, we’ve put together a quick list of foods you can safely indulge in that are good for you and safe for your braces. We’ve also included a few of our favorite tips to keep you going throughout the treatment process. Let’s take a look to learn more!
Pro tip: patience is key
Like any worthwhile endeavor, orthodontic treatment takes time and patience. While it may sometimes feel as though it’s taking forever, we promise this part is only temporary! If you can accept that you’ll have a few limitations while undergoing orthodontic treatment and follow all our recommendations, we’ll be removing your braces and revealing your beautiful new smile before you know it.
Pro tip: healthy teeth equal a healthier mouth
Oral care is important for everybody, whether you’re an orthodontic patient or not, but it becomes even more essential when you’re wearing braces. To keep your braces clean and your mouth healthy, you should have a good dental hygiene routine in place. We recommend brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, as well as flossing every night before bed. Taking care of your teeth and gums doesn’t stop there, though! Ideally, you should aim for at least eight glasses of water daily and a diet that’s rich and varied in vitamins and minerals.
Foods to emBRACE
Not sure exactly what that kind of diet would look like? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite foods that are good for your body and your braces below!
We all have days when nothing sounds good and eating anything just feels like a chore. This can be even more common for braces patients! If you’re experiencing any soreness or swelling after an appointment, a smoothie can provide you with a quick blast of healthy vitamins and minerals. An endless variety of fruits, vegetables, and other add-ons to choose from means you’ll never be bored, and the temperature and texture can be soothing, too.
You can eat it plain, Greek-style, topped with fruit, honey, or granola…whatever your preference, yogurt is a great choice when it comes to strengthening your teeth and improving your overall oral health, particularly when it has no added sugar. Yogurt is high in calcium and protein and even contains a boost of beneficial bacteria. Just like smoothies, the texture can be soothing if your mouth is feeling sore. Take care to brush your teeth afterward, though, since even plain yogurt still contains some naturally occurring sugars.
Chicken noodle soup
Soup’s not just for sick days! It’s great for sore mouths, too, giving your jaws and teeth a break from chewing while still nourishing your body. Chicken noodle is an obvious staple and one of our perpetual favorites! Not only is it delicious, but chicken broth is packed with minerals, gelatin, and collagen, which work to build up strong teeth and bones. The protein and vitamins in a cup of chicken noodle soup can even speed up the rate at which you heal, which is especially helpful if you’re experiencing any irritation.
Sometimes sweet potatoes get stuck on the holiday table, but these root vegetables are an excellent choice any day of the week! They contain keratin to help the tooth enamel form properly and are full of vitamin A, which maintains the mucous membranes and soft tissue of the gums. Baked, boiled, fried, or mashed – however you like to eat them, sweet potatoes are healthy, filling, and still soft enough to eat even when your teeth and jaws are feeling tender.
Throughout the treatment process, you may have days where putting any pressure on your teeth bothers you, like immediately after your braces are put on or following an adjustment appointment. Even small pieces of beef, pork, or chicken may feel like too much work when you’re dealing with that kind of temporary soreness. That’s where fish comes in!
Because it’s naturally soft and flaky, fish can be a fantastic alternative to meat, and fattier types like tuna and salmon are a great source of vitamin D. This helps your body absorb and use calcium more effectively, giving your oral health a boost since calcium protects the teeth and gums from disease!
Planning your menu in advance
The first few weeks you’re in braces are generally the hardest, but once your gums and mouth get used to them, managing a new diet will be a piece of cake! Remember to avoid anything too crunchy or too chewy since this can damage your braces and your teeth, and stick to a good dental hygiene routine to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
You probably noticed we mentioned soreness, swelling, and tenderness quite a few times above. Don’t let that worry you! Immediately after your braces are put on, and sometimes following an adjustment, you may find that your mouth feels slightly tender, but this is only temporary. However, you may find it helpful to stick to softer foods during this time, like soups, shakes, mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, and applesauce. Frozen yogurt, popsicles, and ice cream can also give your mouth a chance to adjust to treatment and are great options when you need a little pick-me-up. Just remember: everything in moderation, and brush thoroughly when you’re done!
Get the best in braces treatment from McGrory Orthodontics
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. This is your big chance to make changes to your oral health that will benefit not only your smile, but many other aspects of your life, and it’s worth the wait!
If you’re in Pearland, Bellaire, or any of the surrounding areas, we’d love to meet you and share more about how orthodontics can give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation, and take the first step in your own smile journey!