It can take a few days for your mouth to get used to braces or other appliances and as general rule, it is a good idea to limit food intake during this initial period to soft foods, for example boiled vegetables / stewed fruit, yoghurts and soups.
After the first week there are still some foods that should be avoided to prevent any damage to the braces and the teeth (particularly with the front teeth, which can be damaged by biting into hard foods).
A simple guideline is that if something will make a noise when you bite it then it is capable of damaging your braces and it should not be eaten. If you can change the food to a form which will not make a noise when you bite it then you can eat it. Carrots can be cooked or grated but not eaten raw. Apples can be cooked, grated or thinly sliced. Chocolate can be grated or warmed but not eaten straight out of the refrigerator. If you make a habit of breaking your braces you can easily add and extra year to your treatment time.
Foods you should avoid
High acid food and drinks:
- Citrus fruit.
- Soft drinks.
- Fruit juices.
- Fruit Juice and soft drink can be drunk through a straw to limit contact with your teeth.
Foods that may loosen, or even break, the braces:
- Popcorn and Corn Chips.
- Chewing gum-sugar free gum is OK.
- Hard sweets / candy (e.g. peanut brittle, liquorice).
- Ice cubes.
- Corn on the cob.
- Whole hard fruit / vegetables (e.g. apples, carrots – cut these into smaller pieces before eating).
- Chips (hot chips are OK).
- Biscuits and crackers of all types.
- Crusty bread.
Foods and drinks that may stain:
- Red wine.
- Some spices, especially turmeric (which can stain braces and Invisalign aligners) - you may want to consider avoiding Indian food while you have braces / aligners to prevent any staining.
Foods you can eat
Foods which you can eat are soft and have low sugar content include for example…
- Boiled / mashed potato.
Don't eat more than three times a day (although morning and afternoon tea are OK). This is so that your saliva – a natural defence against plaque – can have time to remove the acid that forms on teeth after eating or drinking.