When you choose orthodontic treatment with Dillehay Orthodontics, it can be really exciting! After all, you’re taking the first step towards improving your oral health and achieving the straight smile you’ve always wanted. However, orthodontic treatment also comes with quite a few changes. Many of these are relatively small, but some can take a little getting used to, like the food restrictions that accompany braces.

To keep your appliance and your teeth safe during the treatment process, you’ll need to avoid certain kinds of food until your braces come off. While this can be a pretty big learning curve, our team is here to make your journey towards a straighter smile as stress-free as possible. To help you cope with your new dietary changes, we’ve compiled a list of what you can eat with braces, plus a few tips to keep you going throughout the treatment process. Keep reading below to learn more!

Dillehay Orthodontics assistant with patient

Pro tip: be patient!

Braces are a major investment in improving your oral health and your smile. We know that treatment can sometimes feel like it’s taking forever, but we promise it’s only temporary! Patience is key when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Accept that you’ll have a few limitations for a while, follow all our recommendations, and before you know it, we’ll be revealing your beautiful new smile!

Healthy teeth = healthier you

Whether you’re an orthodontic patient or not, oral care is important. For those in braces, however, this becomes even more imperative. You should be 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 with your dental hygiene routine, though! Aim for at least eight glasses of water daily and a healthy diet that’s rich and varied in vitamins and minerals.

Not exactly sure what that means? To help you out, we’ve rounded up some of the best foods for your body and your braces.

Yogurt

Whether you prefer it plain, Greek, or anything in between, yogurt that has no added sugar is a great choice for strengthening your teeth and improving your oral health. Yogurt is high in calcium and protein, and contains an extra boost of beneficial bacteria! The probiotics in yogurt can help keep bad bacteria away from your gums, and the texture can even soothe a sore mouth after you have an adjustment. Just be sure to brush your teeth afterwards since even plain yogurt still has some naturally-occurring sugars.

Chicken noodle soup

Okay, soup in general is a staple for sore mouths, but chicken noodle is our favorite! This comfort food isn’t just for sick days. Chicken broth is loaded with minerals, gelatin, and collagen, all of which build up strong teeth and bones. A bowl full of protein and vitamins can even speed up the rate at which you heal! If you’re experiencing any aching or tenderness after an appointment, soup gives your jaws and teeth a break from chewing while still nourishing you.

Sweet potatoes

For some reason, sweet potatoes are often relegated to holidays, but they can really hit the spot any day of the week! They contain keratin, which helps in the formation of tooth enamel, and they’re an easy way to get your RDA of vitamin A, which helps to maintain the mucous membranes and soft tissue of the gums. They’re also filling, but still soft enough to eat when your teeth and jaws are sore, making them a simple, delicious way to get a healthy boost of vitamins and minerals.

Fish

When your mouth is feeling tender, it can be painful to put pressure on your teeth. Chewing beef, pork, or chicken can feel like a hassle, even if they’re relatively easy to cut through. Thanks to its natural tendency to be soft and flaky, fish can be a fantastic alternative to meat! Harvard scientists have even shown a link between the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and lower rates of gum disease, due to their inflammation-fighting properties. Fatty fish can also be a good source of vitamin D, which is known to help the body absorb and use calcium more effectively. This boosts oral health since calcium protects the teeth and gums from disease.

Smoothies

Everybody has days where nothing sounds good and eating feels like a chore. That’s where smoothies come in! There’s an endless variety of fruits, vegetables, and other add-ons to choose from, and a shake or bowl provides you with a quick blast of healthy vitamins and minerals. The temperature and texture of a smoothie can also help soothe decrease swelling and create a slight numbing sensation that will soothe any oral discomfort you may be experiencing.

Dr. Dillehay with adult patient

Menu planning

You might have noticed that we mentioned soreness and achiness a few times above. There’s a reason for that! Immediately after your braces are put on, and for a couple of days following adjustments, you may find that your teeth, gums, and mouth in general feel slightly tender. During this time, it can be helpful to stick to softer foods like soups, shakes, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, rice, and applesauce. Frozen yogurt, popsicles, and ice cream also give your mouth a chance to adjust to treatment, just remember: everything in moderation!

The first few weeks of braces tend to be the toughest, but once your gums and mouth get used to things, you’ll be able to manage a modified diet with no trouble! You’ll need to put anything too crunchy or too chewy on the back burner while you’re in braces since they can stick to your brackets, bending or even breaking them. They can also make it much harder to clean your teeth effectively.

Dillehay Orthodontics offers the best braces treatment in Wichita

While braces can take a little effort, especially where food is involved, we promise that the treatment process is only temporary. It’s a major opportunity to make healthy changes that will benefit you in almost every aspect of your life, from your teeth to your health to your confidence! If you’re in or around Wichita and are ready to set off on your own orthodontic adventure, get in touch today! We’d love to schedule a FREE consultation for you.