While braces are the best and most efficient way to a healthy and happy smile, there’s no denying the fact that they can take some serious getting used to. Such foods as candy and popcorn or chewing gum become off limits as a result.
So what are your best dietary options when you have braces?
First and foremost, you’re likely going to find yourself with a new appreciation for smoothies. Especially after immediately getting your braces put on, chewing can be a rather daunting proposition for the first couple of days. Whether it’s a vitamin-packed fruit smoothie for breakfast or a kale and kiwi smoothie for lunch, the options are literally endless. And the Internet is an especially useful tool with Pinterest boards like this one just the tip of the online smoothie iceberg.
If smoothies aren’t your go-to first thing in the morning, eggs—be they scrambled, fried, poached, or boiled—are always a great alternative, as is yogurt.
When it comes to lunch, if you’re craving meat, skip the steaks and ribs in favor of some coldcuts on soft bread. Or go with some seafood, like fish tacos or a lobster roll. With the coldcuts, try to avoid fatty and stringy meats like prosciutto in favor of softer and easy-to-chew options like ham or turkey.
As far as vegetables go, if you like them raw then you’ll want to either chop them into small pieces or use a peeler to make ribbons that you can snack on. Hard vegetables like carrots or potatoes, when eaten raw, can cause serious damage—we’re talking actually tearing the braces off here—so try to go with steamed carrots or mashed potatoes instead.
Snacking is a great thing in terms of keeping your metabolism on track, but sweet snacks and candy can be risky because they can lead to plaque buildup around and behind your braces. That said, it never hurts to get a little sugar boost in the form of soft fruit like strawberries dipped in chocolate or ice cream (or sorbet or gelato if that’s more your thing).
While it’ll certainly take some getting used to, finding the right foods for you that are easy on your braces while satisfying your cravings is always worth the effort. After all, who wants to drink all of his or her food through a straw? So start experimenting with the ideas above and find out what your ideal brace-friendly diet is.