What Can I Eat During My Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontic Treatment

Wait, what’s up with the frowny face? Wearing your braces should not be only about the sacrifices you make to have near-perfect teeth. However, we’d all do well to keep in mind what we can and cannot do during the treatment if we want the best results possible.

If you left your most recent orthodontist appointment a little disappointed to hear you can’t eat any popcorn for the following months, this article is for you!

Join us in reviewing what options are available to patients using dental braces. Keep in mind that the restrictions might change a little if you use clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, instead of conventional braces, but even then, these reminders can also apply to you. So how does orthodontic treatment work if there are so many foods and drinks that can set it back?

Let’s check what you cannot eat, and what you totally can.

Why You Should Follow Directions During Your Braces Treatment

If you are a bit of a foodie like us, you’ll understandably be upset about learning that there are some limitations you should follow. Trust us; we don’t say you can’t eat popcorn while wearing braces because we want to ruin your experience watching movies.

When our patients fail to comply with the recommendations we give during the initial consultation, they risk suffering dental health problems and damaging their appliances. Please think about your braces and your dental health when you plan what you’ll eat next.

Wearing braces adds yet another factor affecting how your mouth works and there are harmful bacteria that may take advantage of this. According to this study, there is significant evidence of such bacterial behaviors. This is why we want to discuss some of the dangers you face if you are undergoing an orthodontic treatment but pay no attention to your orthodontist’s warning about food.

What Types of Food to Avoid During Your Orthodontic Treatment

You’ll definitely want to stay away from some foods and beverages during the entirety of your treatment; still, you should be particularly attentive to these foods when you first get your traditional braces installed:

  • Ice Cream
  • Spicy Foods
  • Citrus

Your teeth will be especially sensitive during the first few days, and your mouth will feel sore. Getting your traditional metal braces bonded to your teeth does not hurt, but you will feel uncomfortable for a few days. During that time, you might be especially susceptible to cold or spicy foods. Avoid them.

Other foods are a big No-No throughout your experience with braces. If you opted for ceramic braces for your treatment, you would do very well to stay clear from the following:

  • Crunchy foods:
    • Popcorn
    • Corn from the cob
    • Crunchy vegetables
    • Crunchy fruits
  • Hard foods:
    • Hard taco shells
    • Pretzels
    • Crackers
    • Chips
  • Sugary foods
    • Candy
  • Sticky foods
    • Chewing Gum
    • Licorice
  • Eating meat off the bone
    • Chicken wings
    • Ribs

The materials used to manufacture your appliance’s brackets can make a real difference. Stainless steel is more durable than the ceramic composites used for clear braces, but we still wouldn’t recommend you go crazy and ignore our warnings.

On the subject of warnings, we should also remind you that you should avoid chewing on hard things that are not foods, such as pens, pencils, and fingernails. You run the risk of popping off your bracket and interrupting your treatment.

Anytime your teeth are not moving according to the treatment plan and the braces’ design, you run the risk of relapse of an increased treatment length.

Any Foods That Won’t Ruin My Braces or Choice of Appliance?

We’re glad you asked!

Yes, there are many things you can eat to avoid damaging your orthodontic appliance. We wouldn’t dare leave this just as what you cannot eat. Many patients fear the list of what they have to avoid is bigger than what it actually is.

Adults and children will greatly benefit from including easy-to-chew and soft foods in their diets. Don’t eliminate every fruit or vegetable from your diet; many of them are perfectly safe to eat. Consider the following items you can maintain or integrate into your diet:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pasta
  • Lasagna
  • Soft cheese
  • Soups and creams
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Bananas
  • Papayas
  • Mango
  • Avocado
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Boneless grilled chicken

And the list goes on.

As you can see, there are many ingredients and complete dishes you can still enjoy during your treatment. While you work on your smile, you can also improve the quality of your dietary choices.

Getting Help With Your Braces and Orthodontic Treatment From a Professional

Your two primary concerns should be to avoid anything that can damage your braces and stay well-nourished. Keep in mind that if you fail to do so, you might increase the risk to your dental health. Feel free to refer back to us if you have any questions about what foods to include or avoid in your diet.

We want to make sure your smile receives all the help it needs to achieve your desired results. Dr. Laurie Estes is a proud provider of orthodontic treatments for adults and children here in Albany, CA.

Make sure you get in touch with us to verify what braces are best for you and how to complete your treatment without any problems. If you are what you eat, we want to make sure you are not becoming any trouble with your braces during this process to get the healthy and beautiful smile you deserve.

Set your next appointment online or give us a call at (510) 525-1772 to start your journey. We hope to see you soon!