Best Soft Foods to Eat After You Get Braces

Foods to eat with braces Carmel IN orthodontists

The day has arrived: your braces are on! Now that the nervousness around the appointment is out of the way, the focus can now become food. What’s your next meal look like and more importantly, what are you even allowed to eat? Our Carmel, IN, orthodontists get these questions a lot so we’re prepared with the answers!

Here’s a list of various soft, easy-to-chew foods to eat after braces have been put on as well as how your diet can evolve as you progress through your treatment.

First Few Days vs. Entire Treatment

The first thing you’ll notice after our team has finished applying your brackets, wires, and elastic bands, is that your mouth feels a bit sorer than it was when you arrived. This is totally normal! Your teeth, gums, and jaw will need a few days to get adjusted to the new components which will require some patience on your part.

During this time, Dr. Davila and Dr. Hani recommend that you stick to the more forgiving foods that are going to be easier to break apart and eat. There are plenty to choose from while your mouth is still sensitive so don’t feel like you have to select one or two and only consume those.

Ideal choices following your first orthodontic appointment include:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soup
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft pasta (i.e., macaroni and cheese)
  • Steamed or cooked vegetables (not raw)
  • Oatmeal
  • Soft cheeses
  • Bananas or other fruit that isn’t hard or crunchy
  • Yogurt

Because every patient has a different pain tolerance, it’s important to take it easy and eat foods at your own pace. You should start to feel the sensitivity and discomfort dissipate after the first week but if you don’t think you’re ready for certain foods outside of this group like cold ice cream, spicy foods, or chewier bread, give yourself some more time.

After you’ve moved past that initial week and your mouth has become accustomed to the newly applied braces, you can allow your diet to expand a bit. You can start to introduce meats such as shredded chicken or lunchmeat, fish, cut-up fruits, and other sweet treats depending on what you like. We urge you to remain careful as your treatment goes on to avoid broken wires, loose brackets, or other orthodontic problems.

Take note: Have Invisalign® clear aligners instead of metal or ceramic braces? These same food guidelines still apply for the first few days while you experience soreness. After that, you’re free to eat what you’d like as long as you first take out your aligners and clean them (plus your mouth) properly before popping them back in place!

Off-Limits Foods

We’ve covered a handful of what you can comfortably eat, but what about the foods you should avoid while wearing braces? Understandably, those include hard, sticky, or overly crunchy foods that really make your jaw work overtime and can cause components, like brackets, to come loose.

As you work towards a straighter smile, refrain from eating:

  • Popcorn with kernels
  • Candy that’s hard to chew or types that may become stuck in teeth/brackets (licorice, caramel, taffy, peanut brittle, etc.)
  • Nuts
  • Tough pizza crust or rolls
  • Ice
  • Most raw veggies or fruits (i.e., biting directly into an apple or corn on the cob)

Try to stay away from any of the aforementioned foods until after you’ve had your braces removed. Eating healthy can be made possible by adapting in certain ways like cutting fruit into smaller pieces or steaming vegetables beforehand. If you’re not sure whether or not you can have something, feel free to call our Carmel, IN, orthodontics office to double check.

Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smile 

Even eating the best foods for braces will still result in the need for oral hygiene. Dr. Davila and Dr. Hani recommend that all patients brush their teeth at least 2-3 times a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss daily, and continue receiving professional teeth cleanings from their general dentist every 6 months.

Make sure as you’re brushing and flossing, you’re working to remove bits of food around your braces, underneath wires, or near brackets. A floss threader, picks, or a water flosser are all great tools for cleaning every aspect of your smile.

Make an Appointment

Our orthodontists in Carmel, IN, want you to feel confident eating foods you love while you wear braces. Have questions for us or need to request an appointment? Call WestClay Orthodontics today at (317) 593-1400 and we’ll help you out!