March 29, 2019
Making the decision to change your smile with braces is exciting! Taking that first step towards improved oral health is something to celebrate, but orthodontic treatment can also bring quite a few changes to your life. While many of those changes are relatively small in the grand scheme of things, some can take some getting used to, such as food restrictions.
In order to protect your teeth and your braces during treatment, it’s important to steer clear of certain foods until the process is complete. Although this is often one of the biggest learning curves to come with treatment, Central Virginia Orthodontics is here to make your orthodontic journey as rewarding and stress-free as possible! Our expert team has put together a few tips to help you cope with any challenging dietary changes. We’ve also included information on some of our favorite foods to eat while undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces. Keep reading to learn more!
PRO TIP: patience is key
Braces are an investment of both your time and your finances. While treatment can sometimes feel as though it’s taking forever, it really is only temporary! The hard work and dedication you put into the process will pay off when we remove your braces and reveal your beautiful new smile, but patience is essential. If you can accept that you’ll have a few limitations for a while and commit to following our recommendations, you’ll finish treatment before you know it.
PRO TIP: healthier teeth equal a healthier you
Maintaining an oral hygiene routine is important for everyone, whether you’re an orthodontic patient or not. However, it becomes even more imperative to take good care of your teeth and gums when you’re in braces. We recommend brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, as well as flossing every night before bed. Along with good dental hygiene, you should aim to drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet that’s rich and varied in vitamins and minerals. Take a look at some of the best foods for your body and your braces below!
Plain, Greek, topped with fruit or honey – however you like it, yogurt can be an excellent snack choice for strengthening your teeth and improving your oral health, especially when it has no added sugar. High in calcium and protein, yogurt also comes with an extra boost of beneficial bacteria. The probiotics it contains help crowd out bad bacteria in your gums, and the smooth texture can be soothing for gums or teeth that are sore after an adjustment. Just remember to brush your teeth afterward since even plain yogurt has some sugar. Even the kind that occurs naturally can cause issues if left on your teeth for an extended period of time.
It may be a staple when you’re sick, but a big bowl of steaming chicken soup is perfect for aching mouths, too! Whether you make it from scratch or have a favorite brand, chicken broth comes loaded with minerals, gelatin, and collagen. These are all an essential part of keeping your teeth and bones strong and healthy. The protein and vitamins can even speed up the rate at which you heal, which is useful for any irritation you may have! Soup is also great for giving your jaws and teeth a break from chewing, something that can be helpful when your mouth is feeling tender.
They may be most popular around the holidays, but sweet potatoes can hit the spot any time! They’re filling and full of vitamin A, which helps to maintain the mucous membranes and soft tissue of the gums. They also contain keratin, an agent that helps in the formation of tooth enamel. Whether you bake, fry, mash, steam, or even boil them, sweet potatoes are a great way to get a healthy boost of vitamins and minerals, plus they’re but soft enough to eat when your teeth and jaws are sore.
When your mouth is feeling sore, putting pressure on your teeth can be slightly uncomfortable. Chewing food like beef, pork, or chicken can feel like a lot of work, even if it’s tender and cut up small. But fish is naturally soft and flaky, making it a fantastic alternative. Not only that, but studies have actually shown a link between the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and lower rates of gum disease thanks to them naturally lowering the kind of inflammation that occurs when bacteria irritates the gums. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are also good sources of vitamin D, which helps your body to absorb and use calcium more effectively. This is important for oral health since calcium protects the teeth and gums from disease.
All of us have days where nothing really sounds good and eating seems more like a chore than something enjoyable. That’s where smoothies come in! With an endless variety of fruits, vegetables, and other add-ons to choose from, smoothies are an excellent way to get a quick blast of healthy vitamins and minerals. The cool temperature and smooth texture can also help soothe any oral discomfort you may be experiencing by decreasing swelling and creating a slight numbing sensation for your gums and teeth.
Find the best braces for you with Central Virginia Orthodontics
Generally speaking, the first few weeks of braces are the hardest. Once your gums and mouth get used to them, chewing and eating won’t feel so strange. Managing a modified diet will be no problem in no time at all! Even though braces can take a little effort at first, particularly where food is involved, don’t worry – the treatment process is only temporary, and before you know it, we’ll be removing your braces and revealing your beautiful new smile!
Orthodontic treatment is a major opportunity to make healthy changes that will benefit almost every aspect of your life. From your teeth to your health to your confidence, braces give you a big reason to smile! If you’re in Central Virginia and are ready to embark on your own orthodontic adventure, get in touch today! We’d love to schedule a FREE consultation for you to get you started.