Some people who decide to get braces have this mistaken notion that they need to go on a liquid and soft diet afterwards in order to protect their braces. While it is ideal that you do eat soft and liquid foods during the first couple of weeks after you get your braces, you don’t need to do this until your braces come off. You can actually return to a normal diet a few weeks after your dentist puts your braces on.
Returning to a normal diet however does not mean that you can eat whatever you want. There are still some limitations to what you can ingest while you are wearing braces. To help you keep your braces in the best possible condition for optimum results with such a treatment, here are some of the foods you should avoid until such time when the brackets, bands and wires are removed.
- Whole hard fruits – fruits are essential to a healthy diet, however there are some fruits that are difficult to eat when you have braces on. Whole apples, uncut and unpeeled pears, and any other similar type of fruit should not be eaten whole. If you want to eat these, you will need to peel and cut these into bite sized pieces.
- Whole hard vegetables – just like fruits, vegetables that are hard to bite into whole should be avoided, or cut into manageable pieces. Some of the vegetables that are notorious for damaging braces due to people biting into these whole include raw carrots, pickles, celery, radish, and asparagus. If you really want to eat these, cut them up into small pieces or cook them till they are fork tender and easier to bite into.
- Chewy Food – when you talk of chewy food, the first thing that may pop into your head is beef jerky. This is indeed a type of chewy food, and should be avoided when you are wearing braces. There are other types of chewy food however, and included in this list are chewing and bubble gum, gummi bears and worms (or any type of gummy candy), caramels, taffy, and toffee (or any kind of chewy candy), and tough cuts of meat.
- Anything hard and/or crunchy – the list for this can be quite long since there are quite a lot of hard and crunchy food choices that can damage your braces. These include pretzels, candy canes and other similar hard candies, chips, cookies, and nuts. Ice is also a culprit when it comes to hard and crunchy foods damaging braces. Other hard foods that you should also steer clear of include hard bread or crusty rolls (like French bread, bagels, and baguettes), hard chocolate, pizza crust, and seeds.
- Anything off the bone – it is also a good idea to avoid eating anything directly off the bone. If you want to eat chicken wings or ribs, remove the meat from the bone first before eating these. This will help you avoid popping a bracket or misaligning your braces. It might be a good idea to steer clear of these if you cannot enjoy them off the bone, and choose other cuts of meat for the meantime.
These restrictions might make it seem like there is nothing more for you to eat, but in reality there is still a lot of choices out there that are safe for your braces. For example, in the fruit department, you can eat bananas, melons, grapes and berries easily. In the meat department, tender cuts of meat that are cut into small pieces can also go on your menu. Most candies however are off-limits, but you can snack on a soft piece of chocolate every now and then.
Just make sure that you choose your food wisely in order to prevent the need to go back to your dentist frequently for repairs to your damaged braces. In time, you will see and reap the benefits of sticking to a brace-friendly diet, and your treatment will progress faster, giving you better looking teeth in no time.