What Not to Eat with Braces the First Week

Getting braces is an exciting step toward achieving a perfect smile, but it also comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to food. During the first week, your mouth will be adjusting to the new hardware, which means you’ll need to be extra cautious about what you eat. Trust me, avoiding certain foods can make all the difference in your comfort and the effectiveness of your braces.

Understanding Braces and Initial Adjustments

Getting braces marks a significant change in oral health management. The first week is particularly crucial for acclimating to these changes.

The Importance of Dietary Changes

Dietary changes are essential when adapting to braces. Certain foods can damage brackets or wires, causing discomfort and prolonging treatment. Hard foods like nuts and sticky foods like caramel threaten the integrity of the braces. Soft foods minimize discomfort and reduce the risk of damage. Soups, mashed potatoes, and yogurt are excellent examples of brace-friendly foods.

The First Week with Braces

The first week with braces involves adjustments to both eating habits and oral hygiene routines. Most patients experience some discomfort or soreness as the teeth begin to move. This period demands extra care to avoid complications. Cutting food into small pieces helps reduce strain on teeth and braces. Staying hydrated keeps mouth tissues moist, alleviating irritation caused by the braces. Additionally, rinsing with warm salt water soothes sore gums and reduces inflammation.

Foods to Avoid with New Braces

The first week with braces, avoiding certain foods prevents discomfort and ensures the braces’ effectiveness. Here are specific categories of foods to avoid:

Hard Foods

Hard foods can damage brackets and wires. Crunchy items like nuts, ice, and popcorn kernels easily cause issues. Biting into raw vegetables like carrots or fruits like apples can also strain the braces. Cook vegetables until they’re soft or cut fruits into small, manageable pieces to avoid these risks.

Sticky Foods

Sticky foods can get lodged in braces and be hard to remove. Avoid chewing gum, caramel, and gummy candies as they require a lot of effort to clean. These foods can also pull at brackets and wires, causing them to loosen. Opt for non-sticky alternatives like soft fruits or cheese.

Sugary Foods

Sugary foods increase the risk of cavities and plaque buildup around braces. Soda, candy, and pastries facilitate bacterial growth. Remember that sugar can lead to tooth decay, which is harder to clean with braces. Choose sugar-free drinks and limit sugary snacks for better oral health.

Recommended Foods for the First Week

Choosing the right foods in the first week with braces ensures comfort and protects the dental gear. Soft and cooling foods are ideal during this period.

Soft Foods

Soft foods are gentle on new braces and prevent damage. Mashed potatoes, pasta, and scrambled eggs are excellent options. Yogurt provides protein without stressing the braces. Soups offer nutrition and are easy to consume. Smoothies can be nutrient-dense when combined with fruits and vegetables, prompting smooth digestion.

Cooling Foods

Cooling foods reduce inflammation and provide relief. Ice cream and frozen yogurt can soothe sore gums. Cold applesauce offers a soft, cooling treat. Cold beverages can also provide comfort and hydration, easing discomfort from new braces.

Tips for Managing Discomfort

Braces can cause discomfort in the first week. Using specific eating techniques and maintaining good oral hygiene can help ease the pain.

Eating Techniques

Bite into smaller pieces to avoid adding stress to the braces. Favor soft foods like soup, oatmeal, or scrambled eggs, which require less chewing. Use the back teeth rather than the front ones for chewing to reduce pressure on the brackets. Avoid using front teeth to bite into foods like apples; instead, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Drink plenty of water to help dislodge food particles stuck around the braces, reducing the risk of irritation.

Oral Hygiene Tips

Rinse with a saltwater solution to soothe sore gums. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean teeth and braces without causing damage. Brush at least twice daily, ensuring a thorough cleaning around each bracket. Floss daily using a floss threader to reach between the wires. Consider using an interdental brush to access difficult areas. Apply orthodontic wax to cover any sharp brackets or wires causing irritation, reducing the friction that leads to sores in the mouth.


Navigating the first week with braces can be challenging but making mindful food choices and employing effective techniques can significantly ease the transition. By sticking to soft and cooling foods and practicing good oral hygiene you’ll not only find relief from discomfort but also protect your braces from damage. Remember to take it easy on your teeth and gums during this adjustment period. With a little patience and care you’ll soon be on your way to a smoother braces journey and a healthier smile.

Frequently Asked Questions

What foods should I avoid with new braces?

Avoid hard, sticky, and chewy foods like nuts, popcorn, chewing gum, and caramel. These can damage your braces and prolong your treatment time.

What are some recommended foods for the first week with braces?

Opt for soft and cooling foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, ice cream, and cold applesauce. These can help reduce inflammation and provide relief for sore gums.

How can I manage discomfort from new braces?

You can manage discomfort by cutting food into smaller pieces, eating soft foods, rinsing with a saltwater solution, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and applying orthodontic wax to cover any sharp brackets or wires.

Why should I rinse with a saltwater solution?

Rinsing with a saltwater solution can help reduce inflammation, soothe sore gums, and maintain oral hygiene during the adjustment period.

How often should I brush my teeth with braces?

You should brush your teeth after every meal to prevent food particles from getting stuck in your braces, leading to plaque buildup and possible tooth decay.

What is the purpose of orthodontic wax?

Orthodontic wax is used to cover sharp brackets or wires that may be causing irritation to your gums and cheeks, providing comfort during the adjustment period.

Can I still play sports with braces?

Yes, you can play sports with braces, but it is advisable to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces from any potential impact or injury.

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