When your braces are applied, it can take your teeth some time to get used to their new normal. Your teeth and gums can ache and take the enjoyment out of food. But there’s no need to go hungry, there are plenty of soft food options available until you can return to your braces-friendly diet. Here are our team’s top picks:
Which Foods Are Best for Braces?
It’s important to eat a balanced diet, even when your teeth are sore. Here are some tips on foods you can swap into your diet to help ease the pain.
At breakfast time, you may not feel like eating your favourite cereal or toast with sore teeth. Instead, try making yourself a smoothie with milk and fruit such as this delicious banana smoothie recipe with variations to keep things interesting. Yogurt is a cool, soothing snack or can be part of a meal. Custard and ice cream are easy to eat if you’re craving a sweet treat.
Eating an apple even when it’s cut up is probably the last thing you will feel like doing. Luckily, there are plenty of other fruit options available. Make yourself a fruit salad with finely chopped soft fruit. If it’s summertime, you’re in luck with the stone fruits being relatively soft and easy to eat, just avoid eating fruit with stringy flesh that can get caught in your braces. Melon can be cut up into small pieces, so you don’t have to do much chewing. In the cooler weather, you can stew apples, pears, and berries to eat on their own, with custard or add a crumble topping and bake.
Sore teeth won’t get you out of eating your vegetables. You’ll want to pass on the raw carrot and celery for more than a few weeks. They can cause a broken brace or wire so it’s best to eat them cooked. Most vegetables can be cooked to soften them.
Soups are nourishing comfort food. Make a pumpkin or leek and potato soup and puree it until it’s liquid. A minestrone or chicken and vegetable soup can be cooked until all the vegetables are very soft and require little chewing. There are plenty of other soup recipes to discover. Small vegetables like peas and corn off the cob don’t require a lot of chewing either and well-steamed broccoli can be cut up finely before serving. A stuffed baked potato can be an easy, filling meal option particularly if the rest of the family is eating something that doesn’t appeal to your sore mouth. If you want a salad, cut up softer vegetables including tomatoes, avocado and lettuce or spinach.
Grains and Pasta
Well-cooked rice can be eaten as a side dish or main meal. Add very small pieces of meat and vegetables for paella or fried rice.
Recipes using the tiny pasta risoni don’t need a lot of chewing. Check out this range of risoni recipes. Couscous is very quick to make and easy to eat. Soft, freshly sliced bread, untoasted with your favorite spread can be an easy-to-eat snack or lunch. Hard-crusted bread is not only going to be very sore to bite and chew, but it’s also not recommended while you have braces because it can cause breakages. Oats are another easy-to-eat, healthy breakfast compared to most packaged cereals.
Chicken, pork or a steak will be off the menu until your teeth settle into their braces. But there are plenty of meal options for minced beef, chicken or pork. Fish is a good mealtime option because it’s so soft. You can cook eggs in any way to keep up the protein in your diet. If a stew or curry is on the menu and the pieces look a little big or chewy, cut it up fine or even try blending a small portion to see if you like it.
What Else You Can Do for Sore Teeth?
There are a few things you can do to make mealtimes more palatable and your days easier after your braces are applied or tightened. A blender and a sharp knife will be your best friends for pureeing and cutting up food. Take a little extra time to make foods softer and finer so there’s little chewing action required to eat them.
An over-the-counter pain killer won’t make the aching and sore feeling completely disappear but it will reduce the discomfort. To stay on top of the pain, take them throughout the day rather than letting it wear off completely before taking the next one. Always read the directions and ask a parent if you aren’t sure when to take the next one.
Try to plan some relaxation time. After your braces are applied or tightened, you may not feel like putting in a mouthguard and playing a game of football. Take things slow in the early days of your braces while you get used to them. Don’t worry, your soft food diet won’t last forever. You’ll be back to your (braces-friendly) diet before you know it. Just think how much you’ll appreciate your perfect smile once your braces are off. You’ll have a lifetime to enjoy your transformed smile.
Visit https://caortho.org/locations?zip=92374&d=5 to find an Orthodontist near you!