How Long After Getting Braces Can You Eat Solid Food?

Getting braces cannot be termed a fun experience, especially if you are getting them for the first time. Although they offer an exciting step towards that beautiful smile you desire, adjusting to the presence of braces in your mouth and figuring out how to eat, speak, and even perform your oral care routine can be daunting.

One of the most common questions people ask when preparing to get braces or immediately after getting them is, “how long after getting braces can you eat solid food?” Eating, especially during the first 1-2 weeks after getting braces, is arguably the most challenging part of getting braces.

Your mouth is trying to get used to the strange, new pieces of metal in it, and you will feel some discomfort or soreness especially in that first week. I can assure you that once you get through the first week, you are well on your way to that beautiful smile you desire. 

Here, I have some dos and don’ts of eating with braces, but let me first answer the question that brought you here: How long after getting braces can you eat solid food?

How Long After Getting Braces Can You Eat Solid Food?

After about a week, the discomfort/soreness in your mouth will start to subside and you can graduate to solid foods. However, you should always avoid the foods below as they could damage your teeth and braces.

List of Foods You Can’t Eat with Braces

One of the most difficult adjustments after getting braces is giving up some of the foods you love. Although, after the first few days of getting your braces, you should be able to eat most foods without any hassle, certain foods are off-limits while wearing braces. These foods include;

  • Hard foods such as nuts and hard candies
  • Corn on the cob, apples, and other foods that require biting into. You can munch on apples if you cut them into small pieces, though
  • Crunchy foods like chips and popcorn
  • Sticky foods like chewing gum and sticky or hard candy
  • Chewy foods like bagels

These foods will not only damage the wires and brackets of your braces, but they can also get stuck to your teeth and braces and are very difficult to remove.

What To Eat With Braces The First Week         

It is normal to feel some level of discomfort (mild to moderate) during the first week of getting your braces installed; indeed, many find it a bit challenging to eat anything at all. Apart from getting over that discomfort and getting used to eating with braces in your mouth, eating the wrong kinds of food can damage your braces. It is therefore important to know the right foods to eat in those first few days to avoid extra trips to the orthodontist.

Here are examples of the foods you can eat in the first week of getting your braces.

  • Soups and stews
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Soft cheeses
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mashed potatoes and puddings
  • Pasta
  • Yogurt, protein shakes, and smoothies
  • Soft fruits like banana, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
  • Grains
  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas

How Can I Eat with Braces the First Week?

Many people do not know how they are supposed to eat with their braces, especially in the first week of getting them. Let me take you through how you can eat with braces in the first week, here are some tips:

  • Eat only soft foods that will not pressure your teeth.
  • Take only a small amount or bite-sized pieces of food at a time.
  • Chew foods with your back teeth, slowly and carefully.
  • Clean your teeth thoroughly after meals.

Soft Foods to Eat After Braces Tightening

Braces are tightened to put pressure on the teeth so that they can move to desired positions. It is quite normal for your mouth to feel sore after a braces-tightening appointment, but eating the wrong foods will increase the soreness. Here are some soft foods to eat after braces tightening:

  • Soups and stews
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Soft cheeses
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mashed potatoes and puddings
  • Pasta
  • Yogurt, protein shakes, and smoothies
  • Soft fruits like banana, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
  • Grains
  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas

How Long Do Braces Hurt When You First Get Them?

You will feel some discomfort in your mouth for the first 5-7 days after getting your braces. While the process of installing braces in your mouth may not be painful (it might just feel as though the pressure is being applied to your teeth), you will start to feel pains after the installation and the pains may last up to one or two weeks.

Read also: Can I Eat Pancakes After Tooth Extraction?

What Snacks Can You Eat with Braces? 

Getting braces does not mean you cannot enjoy some of your favorite snacks. Some snacks you can still enjoy after getting your braces are:

  • Yogurt, milkshake, smoothie
  • Nut butter such as almond or cashew butter
  • Applesauce
  • Sliced avocado
  • Baked chips
  • Nut-free muffin
  • Diced fruits such as watermelon, banana, or mango

Read also: Can I Eat Ramen Noodles After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Tips for Eating with Braces

  • Eat soft foods that are not difficult to chew; avoid hard foods or snacks like hard candy that could damage your brace
  • Stay away from sticky or crunchy foods that can get stuck in your braces
  • Cut your foods into small bite-size pieces for easier chewing
  • Eat your food slowly
  • Always chew carefully

Be sure to always brush and floss thoroughly to remove trapped food particles. This is because it is easy for food to get stuck between brackets and between your teeth when wearing braces. Hence, it is essential to brush at least twice a day using the recommended toothbrush, and floss regularly.