Traditional metal braces have been around for decades, and there’s a reason for that: they really work! Countless crooked smiles have been made straight and beautiful by these remarkable dental appliances. But as effective as braces are, you will need to adjust your lifestyle slightly while you’re wearing them. Brushing and flossing, for example, can present somewhat of a challenge with metal braces. A water flosser is often a great alternative to regular flossing. And be sure to keep your regular routine of brushing twice a day, no matter what.
You’ll also have to make a few adjustments when it comes to eating with your dental appliance. Here are a few tips about how and what to eat while you’re wearing your braces.
- Eat only soft foods for the first few days after getting your new braces. Keep in mind that it’s normal to feel some gum irritation at first, and it’s always important to protect your braces. The best way to do that – at least until you get more used to the appliance – is to eat soft food. Within a week or so, you’ll be much more accustomed to your braces, and you’ll be able to enjoy a much wider variety of foods.
- Get into the habit of cutting your food into small pieces before eating. It’s also best to use only your back teeth for chewing. These tips will make it easier to thoroughly chew your food while wearing your braces.
- Avoid sticky foods. Caramel candy, chewing gum, and other sticky foods will get stuck in your braces. And once that happens, it’s very difficult to get the food out.
- Stay away from chewy foods. The more vigorously you have to chew, the harder it is on your braces, so stay away from anything too chewy, like bagels, for example.
- Don’t eat foods that are too hard. Remember that your braces are not indestructible. You can break or damage them by eating the wrong foods. Included on the “too hard” list are hard candy, ice, nuts and hard pretzels, to name a few.
- Avoid foods you have to bite into with your front teeth, such as apples and corn on the cob, for example.
Although there are some precautions you’ll need to take while wearing your braces, keep in mind that the end result will make all your efforts worthwhile. Just imagine that straighter, more beautiful smile that’s awaiting you just a few short months from now!