Braces: what to eat and what not to?
More and more young people and adults utilize orthodontic appliances to align their teeth, correct chewing and improve smile aesthetics. However, especially in the first few days, it is possible to experience discomfort and pain at mealtimes. This is why at MC20 we recommend those who have just put on a fixed brace to follow a specific diet. Let’s see the foods to prefer and avoid with orthodontic braces and other useful tips.
Orthodontic brace application: nutrition advice
Applying orthodontic braces involves some initial discomfort with nutrition, and for this reason, it is essential to avoid chewy foods, such as candies or hard foods. Not only that: MC20 dentists also invite you to pay attention to the way you eat: apples, sandwiches and pizza should not be bitten with the front teeth, but cut into pieces, and even the chewing should not be too energetic.
The period of highest discomfort for those who have fixed braces regards the first 5-7 days, with the maximum level of pain during the first 2-3 days. For this reason, it is important to avoid eating foods too hot and to give preference to foods such as mashed potatoes, hamburgers, or cheese which are soft. After the first days, the diet can be richer and more varied, even if hard and crunchy foods risk leading to the brackets detachment. Finally, it is essential to take care of oral hygiene with great attention!
What to eat with orthodontic braces
Especially for children, the first few days of brace treatment are the hardest to get through. The pain occurs mainly during meals, and for this reason, dentists at MC20 recommend to prefer soft foods such as soft cheeses and yogurt, soups, eggs, tender meat, and soft bread, but also smoothies, ice cream, puddings, and bananas.
What not to eat with orthodontic braces
In addition to the foods to prefer, there are some foods to avoid when putting on braces, and in particular, they are hard or crunchy foods, too hot and too cold, or excessively chewy and sugary. Foods to be avoided comprehend crusty bread and pizza, nuts and muesli, popcorn, chewing gum, nougat, hard candies, and sugary drinks.
The risk of too sticky foods is that they stick to the orthodontic brace, making it more difficult to clean the teeth and the appliance itself. For the same reason, it is important to avoid fibrous foods, due to the risk that pieces of food get stuck in the appliance leading to deformation of the metal wires.
Not only that: given that orthodontic treatment leads to greater sensitivity to the teeth, the days after the treatment, it is good to avoid too hot and cold foods. The risk is that of discomfort, pain, but also of damaging the appliance.
Orthodontic braces and nutrition: some more tips
With a little attention, the MC20 dentists invite you to expand the list of allowed foods. These include foods that are more complex to chew if not cut into small pieces. This way, teeth depressure decreases, and there is no risk the brackets detach from the tooth surfaces. We remember the importance of chewing with the molars, avoiding tearing food with incisors and canines.
Also, the suggestion is to drink plenty of water to clean the mouth. Those who drink during the meal can swallow more easily even in case of difficulty with chewing and the water cleans the mouth of any food residue.
Cleaning of teeth and orthodontic appliances
The advice of the dentists of the MC20 Dental Practice is to regularly use dental floss, even if it is an operation made difficult by the presence of the orthodontic appliance. Food easily traps around attachments and wires with the risk of infection. The advice is to carefully floss, bending it in the shape of a C to wrap around the tooth and remove any residue.
In addition to this, we recommend brushing your teeth after each meal, which is a fundamental step in oral hygiene for those who wear braces. Any food residues cause pain and sensitivity to teeth and gums but using a soft bristle toothbrush you can also remove them with the help of a pipe cleaner.
MC20 dentists recommend brushing in the direction of the tongue or downwards for the lower arch and upwards for the upper arch. All without haste and dedicating two or three minutes to each wash to be sure to clean the surface of each tooth in the best possible way.
Braces wearers may need to brush their teeth more often, as the plaque spreads over a larger area, namely that of the tooth and the brace.
As you can see, wearing the device does not preclude you from following a rich and varied diet, even if you need to pay some extra attention in the first few days. The advice is to follow the instructions of the trusted dentist to minimize any discomfort.