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Eating with Braces 

There are a variety of orthodontic choices.  Today’s braces range from clear aligners to clear or metal brackets.  Some types of braces are removable, but non-removable braces make take a little time to get used to when eating. 

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Traditional orthodontics are attached to your teeth with a bonding agent.  Your orthodontist will periodically monitor your progress and adjust your braces as needed.  You may experience temporary discomfort after your orthodontics are adjusted.  The discomfort may increase when you chew food to eat.

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Your orthodontist can recommend specific eating guidelines for you to follow.  If your braces cause significant discomfort, your orthodontist may recommend over-the-counter pain relief medication.

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You may need to modify what or how you eat to prevent discomfort and protect your braces from breaking or becoming loose.  It is important to avoid chewing gum and sticky candy.  It is always important not to chew ice cubes.  You should avoid biting into and chewing hard or crunchy foods like fresh carrots, fresh apples, and hard candy.
Softer foods may be easier to eat when you are experiencing discomfort from your braces.  You may soften fruits and vegetables by steaming or cooking them.  Soft foods may include shakes, ice cream, pasta, soup, and pudding.  Certain foods, such as meat, may be easier to chew if you cut it into small pieces first.  Some foods may not harm your braces, but may be just plain sloppy to eat because it gets caught in your braces.  Because of this, it is always wise to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you to use immediately after meals.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit