You know that what you eat directly impacts your health, and that includes the health of your teeth and gums. But it can work the other way around too. If you have an orthodontic appliance, such as braces, or have had certain dental problems or procedures, the health and comfort of your teeth and gums can directly impact what you eat. Here are some tips for what to eat and how to avoid these common dental issues.
Braces are delicate, and any foods that are sticky, chewy or hard can easily cause them to break, including:
- hard candy
Any food that you need to bite into to eat is prime for breaking braces. You can get around this by cutting the food, such as corn off the cob or rib meat off the bone, or slicing apples and chopping carrots into small, bite-size pieces. You may also experience problems eating after your braces are tightened-teeth may feel sore. The first few days are the worst, so try eating softer foods like those listed below until the soreness passes:
- scrambled eggs
- soup with soft vegetables or pureed or cream soups
- soft cheeses, including cottage cheese
- smoothies and milkshakes
There is no cure for canker sores but you may be able to reduce how often you get them by avoiding foods that irritate your mouth. Spicy foods, acidic foods like pickles and sauerkraut, and citrus fruits can cause irritation. If you have canker sores, help ease discomfort by eating bland foods until your sores heal, such as:
- low-fat milk and other dairy foods
- cooked, canned and frozen vegetables
- mashed potatoes (fortify by mixing in powdered milk to boost nutrition)
- cooked or canned fruit, including applesauce
- hot cereals like oatmeal and cream of wheat (make with milk instead of water to boost nutrition)
If you get mouth sores, try these tips to make eating easier and speed healing:
- Choose cool or room temperature foods.
- Blend and moisten dry or solid foods.
- Drink through a straw to bypass mouth sores.
- Eat high protein, high calorie foods to speed up healing time. For example, add protein powder to milk shakes or powdered dry milk to fortify mashed potatoes and soups.
The lists above are partial, please read the entire article at MouthHealthy.org to view the full lists.