Braces are a dental treatment that uses metal, wires and small rubber banding to move the teeth into the correct position, reducing the appearance of gaps in the teeth or under-bites. Braces stay on the teeth for a period of several months at a time, and can make the teeth straighter and the smile look better overall. Unfortunately, they can also be painful for the first week or two after first being put on. When a person first gets braces, he should change his diet in order to reduce pain and minimize side effects.
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Yogurt is one of the best foods to eat after just getting braces since it is soft and easy to eat. Braces can cause both dental pain and abrasions when a hard or chewy food is consumed. The dental office of Robert T. Kent and Associates states that eating chewy or tough foods like caramels and pretzels can actually dislodge an area of the braces, making it necessary to have more dental work to repair the damage. Tough foods can also worsen the pain and soreness that braces cause, but sticking with yogurt will help to minimize pain. Yogurt is also rich in protein and calcium, to help keep bones and the teeth strong.
Another food that is safe to eat when you first get braces is mashed potatoes. This is because they are soft and smooth and will not push against the metal or wires in the braces. Mashed potatoes can be made at home, eaten in a restaurant or even purchased already-prepared in the grocery store.
Robert T. Kent and Associates states that getting braces limits a person's ability to eat foods that are sweet like candies, since many of them are chewy or crunchy. For example, gum, taffy, caramels, and hard candies could all damage the braces or worsen jaw pain caused by new braces. Applesauce is both soft and sweet. In addition to being sweet, applesauce contains nutrients that candies do not. Applesauce makes a great dessert if you just got new braces. It can also be purchased in flavored varieties for a change.
Foods such as meat, cheese and sandwiches can be too rough and chewy on new braces, yet they are rich in calories and nutrients. Eating a soft diet for new braces can make it hard to get enough calories in, since the choices are limited. Choose soft, nutritious plant-based foods, like beans, avocados and cooked whole grains to meet your nutrient needs.