Once you’ve had braces fitted, the range of foods you can eat easily is often limited. That said, it’s still possible to stick to your regular diet whilst wearing them. Wearing braces can make it more difficult to maintain good oral hygiene, so healthy eating is especially important.
Foods can easily get trapped in brackets and wires, increasing the risk of decay and plaque formation. If you’re about to start orthodontic treatment, here are six simple tips to eating healthily whilst wearing your new braces:
Get your 5 a day
Eating whole fruits and vegetables might be difficult with braces, particularly crunchy foods like apples and carrots, but there are plenty of ways to meet your five a day target each day. Rather than biting straight into them you can chop fruits and vegetables up, and to soften them they can be baked or stewed. Berries and bananas are good soft options and fruits and vegetables can be thrown into a blender to make healthy smoothies and soups packed with vitamins.
Stay away from the sweets
Not only are sweets packed full of sugar, a substance notorious for causing dental decay, they are also your braces’ worst nightmare as they are sticky and chewy, so it’s difficult to clean your braces after eating them.
This is good advice for everyone, regardless of whether or not you wear braces. Sticking to three meals a day without snacking in between reduces the risk of acid erosion to the tooth enamel. This erosion takes places when bacteria in the mouth release acids that attack and weaken the tooth enamel when we eat. If you’re constantly grazing at your desk during the day or snacking with a movie at night, the enamel will be under constant attack with limited time to recover. This is extra tough for brace-wearers because it means you’ll need to clean your braces as well as your teeth after every snack. Instead of snacking, try to focus on eating three healthy and filling meals every day.
Opt for porridge instead of crunchy cereal
Porridge is a tremendous way to start the day because it is filled with fibre and complex carbohydrates that release slowly, keeping you full for longer. Porridge is very easy to eat with braces on and you can swirl in some fruit coulis or honey to make it more exciting. Crunchy cereals are not only difficult to eat with braces, they are also often more sugary that we’d think, making them bad news for our oral health.
Brush your teeth after meals
If you wear braces, it is advised by dentists such as those at The Frederick Dental Clinic to brush more frequently. When we eat, our enamel is temporarily softened, so aim to brush between 45-60 minutes later to give it chance to recover and harden.
Eat a balanced diet
It is essential to include all the different foods groups in your diet so you’re taking in a range of minerals, vitamins and nutrients. Your diet should embody fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, so make sure each meal includes all these elements. This is especially important when wearing braces as some foods get overlooked if they’re too difficult to eat.