One major adjustment that you’ll have to make after getting braces is with your eating habits. You won’t be able to eat as freely as before, not necessarily for dietary reasons, but to maintain the quality of the appliance itself.
The first few weeks after the braces are put in can be the trickiest. This is the adjustment period both for you getting used to dealing with this new fixture in your mouth and for your mouth itself. The gums and tissues inside your mouth will need some time to get accustomed to the feeling of the metal, and because your teeth don’t touch the same way as they did before, you will probably find that your chewing is different. Fortunately, most people find that they are more comfortable and can chew more easily about two to three weeks after the braces are put in.
Just as it was before you got braces, a well-balanced diet is recommended for once you start the treatment. Fruits and vegetables remain the healthiest choices, though harder items like apples and carrots will have to be cut into smaller pieces to make them less of a threat to the braces.
Foods to avoid with braces include those that can increase your risk for cavities such as sweets, chips, soda, and other sugary and starchy foods that generate plaque acid. Avoid sticky, chewy sweets, which can cause wire damage and loosen brackets, as well as hard, crunchy snacks, which can break them or make their impact less effective.
To start with, chew slowly and carefully; cut your food into small pieces, if possible. This will make it less likely that you’ll develop sores or hurt yourself eating. It also gives you practice in chewing with the braces. Stick to soft foods in the beginning. You’ll learn which foods get stuck most often in your braces, and know to avoid these. It may help to have a collection of soft food recipes so that you can feel satisfied with your meals without having to restrict yourself to only soups and shakes.