When you first get your braces, it can be a bit disappointing to learn about its impact to your diet. Braces wearers are often cautioned by their orthodontists about eating foods that are too crunchy, hard, chewy, or sticky. These foods can get stuck, cause plaque buildup, or even damage your braces, resulting in a more painful experience and extra trips to the orthodontist. Fruits often fall into one or more of those categories. However, there are ways you can still enjoy your favorite fruits this summer without pain or difficulty! We’ve gathered tips to show you how.
1. Cut it up: For whole fruits that are hard and usually require you to bite into them, try cutting them up into small pieces and chewing them with your back teeth. This is a great tip for fruits like apples, mangoes, plums, and peaches. Prepare them at the beginning of the week and store them in containers in the fridge for a quick and easy snack to enjoy all week long.
2. Try some berries: If you want to skip the food prep, try berries! They are soft and easy to chew and are usually at peak ripeness in June and July. Berries are also a great source of antioxidants. Eat them on their own or use them to infuse your water for a cool, refreshing beverage.
3. Blend it in: Smoothies are a great alternative to less healthy options such as ice cream or popsicles. Plus, they can be especially soothing for sore teeth after having braces fitted or tightened when chewing can be painful. For an extra thick, velvety smoothie, try boiling and freezing some sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Then add them to your smoothies for an infusion of healthy vitamins and minerals. Other additions include Greek yogurt, nut butters, protein powders, or even an egg. The possibilities are endless!
4. Avoid acidity: While fruit can be delicious, some varieties are highly acidic and can damage the enamel on your teeth, demineralizing it over time. Citrus fruits, pineapples, limes, and pomegranates are all examples of fruits that have a low pH and therefore a high acidity. However, fruits like these also provide Vitamin C to the body, which is very important for maintaining and strengthening bones, cartilage, and teeth. If you are having an acidic fruit or smoothie, use a straw to limit direct contact with your teeth, and rinse your mouth with water afterward to dilute the acids that are leftover in your mouth. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to allow your enamel to resettle, and be sure to use a fluoridated toothpaste to keep your enamel strong over time.