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Tips From an Orthodontist: Foods After New Dental Braces
Are you aware of what you can and cannot eat when you have braces? Having braces does not mean you will have to eat only pureed, bland foods while undergoing the orthodontic treatment. However, knowing what foods to indulge in and what foods to avoid can help with your time in braces.
Make good food choices with braces
It is important that patients watch what they eat in braces. It can help avoid damage to the arch wires, the brackets and the bands. It also helps prevent tooth decay during treatment. Knowing what foods to avoid can reduce risk and can promote good oral health.
Fruits are a good part of any balanced diet. Doctors recommend that most people eat one to two cups of fruit each day. However, knowing how to eat the fruit can be a challenge to those wearing braces. Hard fruits, such as apples and peaches, can prove difficult to bite into. Patients can cut them into bite-sized pieces and chew them with their back teeth.
Patients can bite into soft fruits with more ease, but when teeth are tender after a wire change, even soft fruit can be challenging. Orthodontists recommend that patients choose various berries when the teeth are still tender.
Vegetables are essential to people’s diets as they contain vitamins and minerals. Like fruit, patients in braces should prepare vegetables before consuming them. Hard, raw vegetables, including broccoli and carrots, are difficult to bite into and can damage the brackets. It is important to cut them into smaller pieces that the back teeth can handle.
Cooking vegetables can soften them; so patients can enjoy a variety of cooked vegetables without worrying as much. If a patient finds raw vegetables too difficult to eat, orthodontists recommend steaming or boiling them until they are tender and soft.
Meat provides iron and protein. It does, however, present a problem for those in braces. It is fibrous and difficult to chew. Stringy meat can get stuck between the teeth or in the braces. When patients eat tough meat or meat from the bone, there is a risk of damaging the brackets.
It is recommended to choose lean and tender cuts of meat. Like fruits and vegetables, meat can be cut into smaller pieces to chew them easier. Some good options for patients include chicken, fish, pork or lean beef.
Dairy provides the calcium that is necessary for strong bones and teeth. When eating soft cheese, however, patients may get this stuck in the braces and wires. It is recommended to eat it in small pieces or consume a cheese product that can be easily pulled apart.
Candy is typically sorted into two categories: hard and sticky. Sticky candies like toffee can stick to the brackets and bands of braces and damage them. Hard candies like nuts can do similar damage. Gummy candies can bend the arch wires or get stuck under the braces’ attachments. Patients should select carefully the candies to indulge in.
Enjoy a variety of foods
People with braces do not have to eat bland foods. You can still snack on some of your favorite foods. Just remember to cut specific foods up first, so you can chew with your back teeth. When in doubt of what you can eat, talk to a dentist about which foods are acceptable and which ones put you at risk.
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