If you recently had braces installed, you may be wondering how you are supposed to eat with a "metal mouth." Although it may seem a bit daunting at first, it will soon become second nature. In the meantime, follow these four tips for eating with braces:
1. Eat Smaller Bites, Slower
It might seem hard—especially if you are starving—but it is important that you eat smaller bites when you first get your braces. It can take some time for your mouth to get used to all that metal, and taking big bites can be potentially dangerous.
During your first week, make sure you pay attention to how you are eating and eat slower. Take smaller bites and cut food into smaller pieces, if you need to. This will ensure that you eat properly and do not cause any brackets or wires to come loose.
2. Stick to Soft Foods
At first, your gums may be a little sore. It is normal and the pain will subside, usually within 24-48 hours. If you do experience pain, give your gums a break and stick to soft foods. Not only will it make it easier to eat, but it will also ensure you don't pop off a bracket.
In addition, you may want to avoid sticky and chewy foods, too. Those can be very difficult to eat with braces—and even harder to clean off.
3. Avoid Specific Foods
It is likely that you will need to avoid specific foods during your first week—or entire duration of your treatment. If you are unsure about what is okay to eat, always phone your orthodontist and ask.
In general, avoid eating anything very hard (nuts and seeds), popcorn, and sticky candies. You may also want to avoid sugary drinks, such as soda, because stains are harder to clean with braces.
4. Bite with Your Side Teeth
During the first week with your braces, you may find that it is hard to bite into things with your front teeth. Again, this is something that is to be expected. If you find that it is hard to bite into foods with your front teeth, use your side teeth.
If that is too hard, consider cutting all of your food into bite-sized pieces. This way you won't need to use your front—or side—teeth to bite into foods.
Although eating with your new orthodontics may be hard during the first week or two, it will soon be much easier. Use these tips, along with the advice of your orthodontist, to make eating easier and more enjoyable.