We recently got a question sent to us that said, “Help! I have terrible braces pain! What to eat?” For most people, having braces tightened means a sore mouth — at least for a little while. Braces adjustment pain lasts longer for some than for others. No matter how long you experience this pain, the last thing you want to do is eat foods that will make it worse.
One patient reported to us that ice cream was the only food she could eat after a tightening appointment. Eating ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner sounds amazing. Unfortunately, it is not a good idea for your long term dental health.
Foods Ideas for Dealing with Braces Adjustment Pain
Managing braces does not mean resigning yourself to a bland or unhealthy diet. Here are some alternatives that can help minimize the pain while making sure your body gets the nutrients it needs and your taste buds get the variety they crave.
A slightly healthier alternative to ice cream, yogurt provides a cooling effect that can bring temporary relief to your aching mouth. It’s also full of calcium to support bone growth throughout your mouth and the rest of your body.
Eat yogurt on its own or use it to create a healthy smoothie that can also include fruit and leafy greens for added nutrients. Smoothies are a perfect grab and go breakfast that you may end up sticking with long after your braces come off. Be careful though, some varieties of yogurt can contain just as much sugar as ice cream or other treats. Look for plain or lightly sweetened varieties without syrupy fruit or added toppings that can get stuck in your braces and lead to tooth decay.
Here are some great smoothie recipes to help you get started.
For something a little more substantial, soup is a great option. The great thing about soup is that it can be prepared in many different ways so you do not feel like you are eating the same thing over and over again. From hearty chili to comforting chicken noodle, just about any variety you can imagine is safe for braces.
Beyond the variety and ease of eating, soup is also a great comfort food. It can help take your mind off of the post-adjustment pain, even if only for a few minutes while you are eating it.
However, resist the urge to eat your soup with crackers, croutons, or hard bread. These additions can further irritate your mouth. Do try cooling your soup to room temperature before eating to further reduce irritation.
Slow Cooker Meals
Much like soup, food prepared in the slow cooker is very soft due to its long cooking time. This is a great way to enjoy some of the foods you love in a way that won’t harm your mouth.
The Internet is chock full of slow cooker recipes to meet every palate and diet. Stick to your tried and true favorites, or use your braces as an opportunity to branch out and try something new.
This versatile food can be eaten for any meal of the day and is packed full of healthy protein and fats. Just about any type of egg preparation is acceptable for braces, except for hard boiled.
You can have sunny side up eggs for breakfast, egg salad for lunch, and an omelette for dinner. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
We’ve talked about a lot of protein thus far, but carb lovers fear not — there are options for you while wearing braces.
If mac and cheese is your comfort food, post-adjustment is a great time to indulge. For a healthier option, consider grains like quinoa or couscous. Both are easy to chew and are a blank canvas to which many different flavors can be added.
Don’t Suffer In Silence
Unsure if a particular food or recipe is appropriate to eat after an adjustment? Do not hesitate to contact your orthodontist or ask specific questions about food at your next visit. Our orthodontic teams in Elgin, Chicago, and Addison, IL have helped thousands of patients navigate braces adjustment pain and we’re happy to help provide food recommendations.