What to Eat when you Have Braces
Pop Quiz: Which members of our Smiling Star Team have or have had braces - either brackets-and-wires or Invisalign®?
You may (or may not!) be surprised to know that 9/12 members of our team have had orthodontic work done. The ones who have gotten brackets-and-wires include: Kerri, Dr. Shirley and Dr. Kenny. The ones who have gotten Invisalign® include: Yuki, Renee, Goretti, Judy, Sav, and Nida.
Which means we 'get' you.
If you've just had braces put on you or are cycling through aligner trays, congratulations on taking the plunge to get orthodontic braces! Before you know it, you will have a gorgeous and aligned smile - but in the meantime, you might be experiencing sensitivity.
Good. Your teeth should be sensitive! Orthodontics are designed to move your teeth - so if you're not feeling anything, they might not be working (that's also why you need to come every couple of weeks to get your braces adjusted or to pick up new trays - because you want to continue the movement of your teeth until they land where we want them to). **Please note that we're only talking about 'sensitivity' in the sense of pressure against your teeth and/or the sensations one might experiencing while teeth are shifting. This does not include things like poking wires, orthodontic emergencies and such - because these can be irritating and painful and should be addressed ASAP by the dentist doing your orthodontic treatment!
With the sensitivity though, you may be finding it harder to eat well and to enjoy your meals. So, here are our top picks:
Cold (like gazpacho) or hot, soup is a wonderful option when you just got your braces tightened or just switched to new trays and are feeling the tightness on your teeth. You can opt for blended soups like butternut squash or cream of mushroom or if you're feeling it, even soft noodle soups are doable when you're on a braces diet :D.
Smoothies are another great blender option to fuel yourself! You get vitamins and minerals fresh from fruits - and if you have a particularly strong blender, you can probably add in a handful of spinach without noticing a difference in taste (the colour will turn green though!)
Congee is a porridge-like meal made of broth (or water) and rice. Unless you get add-ins like chicken or other types of protein, you won't need to chomp down on anything hard and can get nourishment this way.
4) Soft Pasta
Go for macaroni or other smaller pasta variations and enjoy with pesto, marinara sauce or in a soup. If you're teeth are really really sensitive, feel free to cook the pasta for a little bit longer. It might not have the same mouthfeel (ok, it won't have the same mouthfeel), but it can take a load off your teeth.
5) Soft Bread
Top with smooth nut or seed butters (stay away from chunky!) Coconut manna spread, jams, butter, mashed banana, hummus, mashed avocado, etc. are also great options. There are so many different options out there, with savoury and sweet choices, you really can't go wrong with bread!
6) Soft fruit
For fruits, you may want to cut them up into smaller pieces before having them while your teeth are sore, but again, you really have endless options. Integrate ripe berries, soft peaches, watermelon cubes, honeydew melon balls, bananas, ripe pears, dragonfruit, mango and more into your day-to-day meals. Or have them on their own for snacks.
Cheeses, milk and yogurts are soft foods you can have without worrying about sensitive teeth (well, you'll still have sensitive teeth if you're wearing braces, but these foods won't make you work too hard and shouldn't make the sensitivity worse - try to stick to soft cheeses instead of harder versions). And it's a bonus that they also offer calcium to make your teeth stronger!
8) Boiled eggs
Boiled eggs are soft enough so that you can bite into them easily and they provide some quality protein to your diet. Crush them up and mix them with a bit of mayo and you have yourself some egg salad, which you can top your soft bread with.
9) Soft, cooked veggies
Cooking veggies can help soften them before you consume them. If you're feeling particularly sore from braces, you can play with creative veggie mashes - like potatoes or sweet potato, parsnips, cauliflower, carrots, and rutabaga, just to name a few. They can be similar to blended soups - except made with less water.
10) Ice cream, pudding, jello
While these offer little nutritional value, they're still soft foods that you might enjoy and you can round off a great meal with desserts. Just avoid ice creams mixed with hard pieces - like chocolate chips or nuts or any chunks.