When it came to getting my braces there were two big areas of worry and anxiety. First up was a biggy – what would I look like? How would I feel about myself and how I looked? More on that coming up in a future blog post.
The other was surrounding one of my big passions in life – food and eating! I worried that for 14 whole months I would hardly be able to eat solids and if I did I would be in constant pain and to top it all off, end up with stained braces.
Yes at the beginning eating normally was a struggle, especially after having four teeth extracted. But I am now over half way through (nine months in fact) and I’ve picked up lots of eating tips along the way. As well as learning the hard way what the no-nos are when it comes to preventing stains on my clear braces.
And so, without further ado, here are my top tips for eating and drinking with clarity braces.
First up, don’t eat curry. Just don’t do it. Curry in any form, just no. I absolutely love Indian food and it’s been tough to give it up but it really does stain your clear elastics a nasty yellowy green colour so stay well clear. I have been tempted a few times and thought I would get away with it stain free by washing every mouthful down with water and then brushing and mouth washing really well afterwards. Never the less, the next morning I have woken up with horrible stains that simply won’t budge. It’s something to do with the spices in curry. Try and avoid anything heavy with turmeric or paprika as well.
As the curry stains the elastics and not your actual teeth or brackets you can save your trip to the local Indian until the night before your next visit to the Orthodontist and then once your elastics have been replaced – good as new!
The only truly ‘safe’ things that you can drink with braces are good old water and milk. Anything else will either slowly stain your braces or do your teeth no favours. That isn’t to say that I’ve only been sipping on water for the last nine months. The odd tea, coffee or red wine won’t make much of a difference and if you just can’t give up on fizzy drinks, use a straw. This keeps the drink away from your teeth and braces as much as possible. As long as you remember to brush afterwards you should be fine. Which brings be along to brushing on the go…
Always have a toothbrush and toothpaste handy. I use an Oral B electric brush at home (I find that with an electric brush I don’t use as much pressure and therefore don’t rub away the white coating on my wire) but I always have a manual brush in my handbag. There’s nothing worse than the feeling that you have got food in your braces for the whole world to see. I tend to brush my teeth after lunch and then again if I’ve perhaps had a coffee or fizzy drink and feel like a need freshening up. Believe me, teeth brushing can become addictive so I try and stick to 3-4 times a day max.
At first I did feel pretty awkward brushing my teeth in the loos in work, but I soon got used it. You will too.
When you first get your braces eating anything at all will feel pretty strange and perhaps painful (especially if you’ve had any teeth taken out). Just eat whatever you can manage such as mashed potatos, stews etc. As you can’t bite with your front teeth as you normally would I had worried that I would hardly be able to eat anything at all throughout my whole braces treatment. I needn’t have worried. I can eat absolutely anything – just as long as I cut it up into smaller pieces first. Burgers for example; last October before I had my braces on I had tucked into a huge juicy burger assuming that it would be my last. Well I definitely can’t eat it the same way anymore but as long as I have a knife and fork to hand any food is fair game.
So yes, you can continue to enjoy all your favourite foods and drinks with clear braces!
You can catch up on my video updates throughout my braces journey on my YouTube channel