Eating with Fixed Braces

In the Beginning

When you first have fixed braces fitted, you will often experience discomfort and even some difficulties swallowing until you adjust to having all that extra metal in your mouth. The important thing is not to aggravate the problem by eating foods that take a lot of chewing or that might irritate the inside of your mouth further. Stick to soft foods; soups are good as you can make your own and make them as interesting as possible, while pasta with a tomato or cheese sauce is another alternative. You may find you also have to stick to soft foods after each visit to your orthodontist, when he will adjust and tighten your braces, possibly leading to more discomfort.

Eating Tips

Once your braces have settled in, you can eat and enjoy food like you used to. Try and get into the habit of chewing without pushing your food to the side of your mouth. Pieces of food are more likely to get stuck in the braces if they are impacted between the teeth and the inside of your cheek. Cutting your food into small pieces should help with this and will make it less likely that morsels will get caught anywhere else in the braces. Plan your meals more, so you know you’ll have plenty of time to chew your food slowly, rather than trying to eat large meals in a rush.

Bad Foods

There are foods that you may want to avoid for your own comfort, or just eat in a different way. For example, rather than bite into a whole apple, cut it into thin wedges before eating. Popcorn may be a great movie snack, but the kernels are very difficult to dislodge from your braces. Most sugary snacks and drinks are bad for your teeth anyway, but cause extra problems when they get stuck in metal fixtures. Finally, one absolutely forbidden “food”is bubble gum; imagine trying to unwind that from upper and lower braces, and the damage it could do to the metal as well as your teeth.

Food: Keep Out

Braces wearers have to be aware that while their teeth are being fixed, they are actually at a greater risk of damaging them if they don’t get rid of any food caught in their braces quickly. As well as looking ugly, pieces of food left stuck in braces can lead to tooth decay. Brush after every meal if possible. Carry a travel toothbrush in your handbag or back pocket and keep a toothbrush and toothpaste at work for after lunch; very small, folding ones can be bought at most chemists. As well as saving your teeth from further problems, regular brushing will keep your smile looking as beautiful as possible while you’re wearing braces. No-one wants to see what you had for lunch stuck in the metal at the front of your mouth…