When you take the first step towards achieving a straighter smile with Dillehay Orthodontics, it can be really exciting. Investing in your oral health is a big decision, one that you’ll always be glad you made. However, orthodontic treatment often means making quite a few changes in your life. When you’re looking at the big picture, most of these changes are relatively small. Some can definitely take a little getting used to, though!

Food restrictions fall into this latter category. If you’re currently a braces patient, or soon will be, you’ll likely agree that food restrictions are often one of the biggest learning curves. To protect both your braces and your teeth, it’s important to avoid anything too crunchy or chewy throughout the treatment process. While we know this can be frustrating at times, our expert team is committed to making your orthodontic journey as stress-free as possible! 

To help you cope with any challenging dietary changes, we’ve put together a few tips on getting through treatment, along with some of our favorite foods braces-friendly foods. Keep reading below to learn more. 

Be patient

Braces are a significant investment of your time, among other things! Even though treatment can sometimes feel like it’s taking forever, we promise it really is only temporary! It does take a little hard work and dedication to get through the process, but all that effort will pay off once we remove your braces and reveal your beautiful new smile. Patience is an essential part of your orthodontic journey. If you can accept that you’ll have a few limitations for a while, and commit to following your doctor’s recommendations, you’ll be done with braces before you know it! 

Be smart

Whether you’re an orthodontic patient or not, good oral hygiene is important. If you’re in  braces, it’s even more essential to take care of your teeth and gums. To maintain a healthy mouth, we recommend brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, as well as flossing every night before bed.

Along with regular brushing and flossing, you should make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, and eating a diet that’s rich in a wide variety of healthy vitamins and minerals. 

Dr. Dillehay working on a patient's teeth

Foods you can embrace

Depending on your eating habits now, you may not even be sure what a healthy and varied diet would look like in your life! You’ll find some of the best foods for your body and your braces below. 

Yogurt

You may like it plain, Greek, or topped with fruit and honey – however you prefer it, yogurt is high in calcium, protein, and an extra boost of beneficial bacteria! The probiotics help get rid of bad bacteria in your gums, but remember to look for brands with no added sugar. Be sure to brush your teeth afterwards either way, since even naturally occurring sugar can cause issues if left on your teeth for an extended period of time. 

Smoothies

With a texture and temperature similar to yogurt, smoothies can also be a soothing treat for braces patients, and are a bit of an orthodontic staple. On days where nothing sounds good, they can be an excellent way to get a quick blast of healthy vitamins and minerals. Plus there’s an endless variety of fruits, vegetables, and other add-ons to choose from, you’ll never get bored! 

Soup

Soup isn’t just for sick days, it’s perfect for aching mouths, too. Chicken soup is one of our favorites since the broth is loaded with minerals, gelatin, and collagen. These help keep your teeth and bones strong and healthy, while the protein and vitamins can even speed up the rate at which you heal. This can be particularly helpful if you have any irritation in your mouth. Soup is also great for giving your mouth a break from chewing when your teeth and gums are feeling tender.

Sweet potatoes

They may end up at the holiday table more often than not, but a sweet potato can hit the spot any time of year! These root veggies are a great way to get a healthy boost of vitamins and minerals. They’re full of vitamin A, which helps to maintain the mucous membranes and soft tissue of the gums, and also contain keratin, which helps in the formation of tooth enamel. However you prepare them, they’re almost always soft enough to eat if your teeth and jaws feeling sore. 

Fish

If your mouth is hurting, even just a little, you may want to avoid putting any extra pressure on your teeth. Common meal ingredients like beef, pork, or chicken can feel like a lot of work, even if the cuts are tender and bite-sized. Fish can be a fantastic alternative, thanks to its naturally soft and flaky texture! Studies have also shown a link between the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and lower rates of gum disease. That’s because they help control the kind of inflammation that occurs when bacteria irritates the gums. Last but not least, fatty fish like salmon and tuna are excellent sources of vitamin D, helping your body to absorb and use calcium more effectively. 

Dillehay assistant talking to patient

Get the best braces treatment at Dillehay Orthodontics

The first few weeks in braces are generally the hardest, but your gums and mouth will adjust to them quickly. When they do, chewing and eating won’t feel quite so strange! While braces can take a little effort at first, especially when it comes to food, try to remember that they’re only temporary. It won’t be long before we’ll be removing your braces and revealing a beautiful new smile!  

At Dillehay Orthodontics, we want to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. If you’re ready to embark on your own orthodontic adventure in Wichita, get in touch today! We’d love to schedule a FREE consultation for you to get you started on the path towards a healthier, straighter smile.