Posted .

Most people who have had braces know that eating with braces is not a walk in the park. Here are some tips to help make eating a little bit more enjoyable for these 12-18 months.

  1. Slow down. Cut your food into bite-size pieces so you can take your time and enjoy it. Cutting your food into smaller pieces will make it easier for you to chew your food politely and you’ll cut down on the risk of it getting stuck in your braces.
  1. Chew food with the side of your mouth. When you first get your braces on, your front teeth are very sensitive. In fact, it may seem nearly impossible to take a bite of anything with your front teeth for a while. Getting in the habit of chewing with the side of your mouth will lessen the pain that comes after each adjustment, as well.
  1. Avoid stringy foods. Stringy foods tend to be messier than non-stringy foods, and they tend to wrap themselves around your brackets and wires like a nervous toddler clinging to their mother at their first sight of Santa Claus. In other words, stringy foods may be more work than they’re worth eating while you’re in your braces.
  1. Try to eat soft foods when possible. Soft foods are literally effortless to chew and swallow, so eating soft foods with braces on – and especially after an adjustment – will prove to be your lifesaver.
  1. Eat something cold. A common misconception about braces is that they make your teeth extra sensitive to hot and cold foods. While this may be true in some cases, eating something cold like ice cream or frozen fruit can actually dull the pain brought into your gums with the tightening of your braces.
  1. Stay away from sticky, chewy foods. You may have to learn to live without foods like licorice, gummies, taffy, caramel, and popcorn while you have your braces on. These foods will probably end up causing you more pain than satisfaction as you try to navigate them with your braces on.

While eating with braces may seem tedious, keep in mind that you won’t be in braces forever (let’s hope!), and following these tips will guarantee a much more pleasant experience.