Everybody loves a gorgeous smile! This is why, according to Humana, over four million people in the United States wear braces. Not only can these modern dental miracles straighten and perfect a flawless smile, but they also offer a sizable range of health benefits. In the meantime, though, how can you survive eating with bulky, restrictive braces?
Tip #1: Be a Picky Eater
Mama said it's not good to be picky, but when you're wearing braces, it's essential. Some foods can rip those metal brackets right off, and it won't be pretty or pain free! Do your best to avoid these foods:
- Chewy foods like bagels, licorice, and hard rolls
- Crunchy foods like chips, ice, and popcorn
- Sticky foods like caramel and gum
- Hard foods like nuts and candy
Tip #2: Don't Bite
Instead of biting into foods, make them spoon- or fork-able. Apples and carrots are hard and can wreak havoc with braces. Cut them up into bite-sized pieces before eating. The same goes for corn on the cob: remove it from the cob before devouring.
Tip #3: Avoid Tough Foods
You can limit the risk of damaged braces, and subsequently damaged teeth, by staying away from tough foods. Tough meats, hard breads, and raw veggies require caution, even when cut into small pieces.
Forget nuts and seeds. Not only are they tough, but they can get stuck in between the teeth, trapped by the braces. It'll quickly become an ongoing irritation until you can brush.
Tip #4: Brush like You've Never Brushed Before
One of the essentials to surviving meal times with braces is to brush. It's smart to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste so you always have the option to scrub your teeth and braces down.
Dental hygiene is crucial while wearing braces. They create new nooks and crannies for food to become lodged in, which can lead to infection and a cavity. The best advice is to brush after every meal.
Tip #5: Treat Yourself
At first, the food restrictions accompanying braces might drive you crazy. You'll probably experiment with foods on the no-no list just to see if you can manage them, and that's okay. You'll need to feel out what works and what doesn't.
In the meantime, don't forget to treat yourself. It will help maintain your sanity, and things like ice cream, popsicles, and frozen yogurt can help sooth discomfort or soreness.
Hang in there! In just a few months, you'll be a pro at eating with braces. For any further questions or concerns, contact a cosmetic dentist.