Best Braces Friendly Foods to Eat
When it comes to braces, most kids have no problem wearing them. In fact, for many kids, they are excited to wear braces and decorate them with the fun colored ties that are available.
Statistics show 75% of all children will need some type of orthodontic treatment after their adult teeth have come in. Because of this, many children will have an abundance of questions they want answered before receiving braces.
At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, it is Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke’s priority to make sure your child is as comfortable with the idea of getting braces as possible. We are always more than happy to answer any questions you or your child may have prior to or during their orthodontic treatment.
Below are some of the commonly asked questions from kids about what to expect during their time wearing braces.
Does it Hurt to Wear Braces?
Having braces placed on the teeth is painless. No anesthetic is required, meaning no shots or anything sharp or pokey is used during the process. Your child will start to feel pressure on their teeth later that day or the following morning, and the discomfort typically lasts for 3-4 days. This sore feeling is temporary, and most children, teenagers and even adults do very well with it. The braces are adjusted approximately every 8 weeks, but the soreness after an adjustment pales in comparison to the initial soreness when braces are first placed.
Depending on the type of braces worn, the level of discomfort can vary. Despite claims to the contrary, the soreness wearing Damon braces is like the experience wearing traditional metal braces. The main determinant of how sore one will be is their individual biology. Some people have a higher pain tolerance than others. Both traditional braces and Damon braces are designed to straighten teeth through the application of steady pressure over time. The key is having a competent orthodontist who is adept at applying the optimal amount of pressure to the teeth during treatment.
Regardless of the type of braces worn, there are ways to alleviate the tooth soreness experienced. Listed below are some of the tried and true methods to help ease discomfort during this short duration.
Following appointments when the braces were tightened or adjusted:
- Let the orthodontists or staff know if there is any discomfort with wires or brackets right away. Adjustments can be made easily and quickly to ensure you are comfortable.
- Eating can be a little uncomfortable after braces are placed or after an adjustment, so it is important to have plenty of food and beverages that require minimal chewing around the house. Things like pancakes, scrambled eggs, smoothies, yogurts, softer noodles and rice, and frozen yogurt or ice cream. These will be easy to eat and soothing in the mouth.
- Medications like Ibuprofen (Advil) or Tylenol may be used to counteract discomfort. Always make sure the child’s primary care physician has approved these over-the-counter medications for your child before administration.
- If the brackets or wires are irritating the gums or cheeks, our doctors will provide wax to apply to the braces. This will keep the braces from rubbing along the gums and inside cheek area. Wax usually isn’t needed for long, however, as the soft tissues in the mouth quickly build up a tolerance to the braces.
What Will Wearing Braces Be Like?
The type of food, beverages, and routine is similar for all types of braces. It can be a comfort for children to realize millions of children and teens are going through the same process outlined below.
- An orthodontic consultation must be conducted first to determine what kind of braces are ideal, how long treatment may take, and what you and your child can expect during the treatment period.
- Once braces are applied, the patient will need to come back for regularly scheduled appointments (usually every 8 weeks). During the appointments, the orthodontist will check the progress of the teeth and make any adjustments to the braces, if needed.
- The doctor’s instructions should be followed consistently and closely. It can be tempting for patients, especially children, to skip flossing or brushing. Parents are advised to help their child brush, floss, and care for their braces properly. Otherwise, broken brackets, stained teeth, and prolonged treatment may result.
What If I Look Bad in Braces?
Many kids are hesitant to wear braces simply because they are worried about looking different. Most children get braces between 10 and 14 years old, so this can already be an awkward time of growth for them, even without the addition of braces.
It can help to remember that braces are temporary and will not last forever. Depending upon the severity of the oral issues that need to be corrected through wearing braces, most children are finished with treatment within a year and a half or two years. Naturally, the length of treatment may be prolonged or shortened according to the discretion and judgment of the orthodontist. This is based on how far along the teeth and bite are moving into the corrective position.
Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke offer their patients several braces options to choose from, as you can see on their website. Depending upon the type of braces, colorful elastics or brackets may be chosen.
Our doctors in Temecula and Lake Elsinore are dedicated to making each patient’s time in braces as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
What Am I Allowed to Eat While Wearing Braces?
This may be the most difficult aspect of wearing braces for some children to deal with. Since the braces themselves are not permanently adhered to the teeth, hard, chewy, and sticky substances can break off brackets and cause delays in treatment progress.
This is the reason orthodontists require patients to avoid specific food consistencies that could cause this to happen.
Food (especially candy) that is sticky, hard, or very chewy should always be avoided. Popcorn and gum are also recommended to be avoided.
Here are some of the braces friendly foods that patients are recommended to eat.
- Food that can be sipped or slurped.
- Drinks like healthy smoothies and soups are great.
- Foods that have a soft consistency.
- Tender shredded meat off the bone, mashed potatoes, ice cream, yogurt, and oatmeal are good options.
- Desserts that are soft or can be easily swallowed.
- Peanut butter cups, Jell-O, and ice cream.
It is important for parents to remember and keep their child’s diet healthy and nutritious throughout their treatment. Drinks and foods high in sugar are not recommended. We understand from time to time, desserts are a great reward for taking care of their braces.
If you or your child are thinking about getting braces, please contact Burke & Redford Orthodontists at (951) 699-8011. Learn more about braces for teens and kids here, too. We offer free orthodontic consultations. Consultations can be scheduled over the phone or on our website.