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What foods can you eat the first week of braces?

It’s common for those in orthodontic treatment to experience some minor discomfort or tooth sensitivity when first getting braces or Invisalign. Your gums may be a little tender for a few weeks, which means you may have to alter your diet a bit. We understand this challenge!

The initial tenderness is part of the process of getting a perfect smile. The good news? The sensation doesn’t last too long, we promise!

We receive many questions from our patients, so we put this together with the following information letting you know what to expect the first week of wearing braces, and which foods we recommend eating.


Why do braces cause soreness at first?

Over time, braces gradually align your teeth and jaw bones by exerting pressure. Although this pressure is gentle, it’s consistent. This can leave the gums feeling sore and the teeth a little more sensitive. Many patients experience this soreness when they first get braces and sometimes after adjustment appointments.

It’s normal for patients to experience the following:

  • The sensation of pressure in your gums and teeth
  • Minor abrasions inside your cheeks caused by the newly placed braces in your mouth — (see these top 5 ways to deal with mouth sores!)
  • Cuts on your tongue


How long will braces discomfort last?

The good news is that the initial tenderness only lasts about a week to two weeks after first getting braces. However, during this introductory period, you may have to switch up your diet.


Best foods to eat during the first week of braces

Wondering what to eat with braces the first week? We recommend eating soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. Here’s a list for first week of braces foods that we recommend our patients stock up on.

  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Smoothies
  • Cold drinks
  • Yogurt
  • Noodles and pasta
  • Soup
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft fruits
  • Jello

For younger patients, we also recommend parents pack a lunch with these soft foods to eat with braces for school-aged children.


What foods are you not allowed to eat with braces?

In general, the following foods should be avoided. It may be easy to avoid these your first week, when your teeth are still sore, but try to avoid these foods as much as possible throughout your treatment as well. Eating these foods can lead to damage your brackets or wires, prompting an emergency orthodontist appointment.

  • Nuts
  • Hard candy
  • Chewy foods such as gum and taffy
  • Popcorn
  • Bagels
  • Hard pizza crust


More frequently asked braces questions

Q. How long after getting braces can you eat normal or solid foods?
A. The time it takes to adjust to the pressure caused by braces varies among patients. Some may become used to the sensation in a couple of days, while others may take a week. Returning to a normal diet – that’s also “braces-friendly” – can take a week on average.

Q. Besides eating soft foods, is there anything else I can do about the soreness?
A. For patients who experience moderate discomfort, an over-the-counter pain reliever may be taken. Try gargling some warm salt water to ease any discomfort too!

Q. How do I properly care for braces during the first week?
A. Proper care for braces should last well beyond the first week and should be a dedicated effort throughout the course of treatment. This includes brushing and flossing after every meal, and regularly scheduled dental cleanings.


A beautiful smile is worth it!

Braces can help patients experience the smile and confidence they’ve always dreamed of. While they may cause a bit of discomfort in the beginning, it will quickly subside. A week of minor soreness is worth a lifetime of confidence!


Still have questions about foods to eat the first week of braces?

We’d love to hear them! The Blue Wave Team is here to answer all your questions about traditional braces, Lightforce custom braces, or Invisalign clear aligners. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

If you’re ready to get started, request your complimentary consultation today.

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