Food for braces

You’d think there wasn’t much you could eat in those first few days (or weeks, if you’re me) of getting used to braces. Everyone recommends ice cream, jelly, apple sauce and mashed potatoes – but there’s only so much you can take of mash and jelly before you crave something more substantial and healthy. So here’s my list of things to eat while getting used to braces:

List of foods to eat with braces:

  •  Soft boiled eggs, seasoned with soy sauce.
  • Soups and crockpot-style stews. They are so good and you can add a ton of things you can’t otherwise eat because the liquid and cooking will soften them up. Stuff like won tons, meat, potatoes, and every kind of vegetable you can think of.
  • Wraps or crust-less bread (dipped into soft-boiled eggs or soup until soggy and easy to chew).
  • Yoghurt. Is awesome. ‘Nuff said.
  • Tofu – is soft and painless to eat. Soften up firm tofu by adding it to soups or stews – or steam silken tofu and flavour it with soy sauce or a tablespoon each of fish sauce and sesame oil. Serve with scrambled eggs, sautéed spinach or minced meat or fish.)
  • Fish – yummy, soft and healthy, this is a total winner for brace-wearers everywhere. And you can serve it with…
  • Veggie mash. I’m still grooving on the carrot mash with peas and corns flavoured with a quick squeeze of lemon which my friend served up for dinner the other day. She kept apologising because she thought it wasn’t good – but I thought it was pretty awesome and ate it all.
  • Lentils and chickpeas – simmer with stock, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric, onions, spinach and diced tomatoes. If you’re looking for an even creamier, softer texture – blend the mixture until smooth. Just be a little careful if you have ceramic braces because the turmeric might stain.
  • Porridge. (Not really a fan, but I’m adding this on the list for all brace-wearing gruel-lovers out there.)
  • Mangos – so soft and so heavenly. The only drawbacks are not being able to suck on the mango seed (my favourite part when I was a kid!) because of your braces, and also to be careful of having bright yellow mango chunks lodged in your braces after.
  • Mango pudding – while we’re still talking mangoes… mango pudding is one of the best things to have on a hot day and remains my favourite dessert after dim sum. None of that sago pudding rubbish for me!
  • And while we’re talking fruits – melon, papaya, bananas, kiwi fruit, oranges, ripe peaches and plums are all soft enough that you can chop them up in manageable bite-sized chunks for a fruit salad. And if you’re really craving hard fruits like apples and pears, try stewing or baking them until they’re soft enough to eat.
  • If you can manage it, I found pasta and noodles soft and easy to bite into.
  • Risotto is another idea, but I’ve heard stories of people who found it really hard to eat because the rice lodged easily in their braces. This is also a problem I had with my beloved sushi – sob!
  • Ricotta
  • Biscuits – dip them in your tea or Milo until they’re soft for a little comfort snack.
  • Custards.
  • Quiche – just watch out for hard crusts.
  • Cereal or muesli, after it’s soaked and soggy in milk. Once again, watch out that the bits don’t get lodged in your braces!

What not to eat:

  • If you’re wearing ceramics, stay away from berries that might stain, like blackberries and berries.
  • Beetroot – I’ve been told it can stain the braces. Luckily, my intake of beetroot happens to be pretty low.
  • Curries – same as above. But as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, if you’re crafty about slicing up your curry meat and veggies with a knife and fork and putting it on your back teeth, you might just be able to avoid staining your braces.
  • Ribs – not unless you’re slicing it off with a knife and fork. No biting into the bone and scraping off the meat with your teeth – you’d end up scraping off a bracket instead!
  • Burgers and club sandwiches – unless cut up in pieces.
  • Hard breads – huge toasted chunks of bread with the super hard crusts, toasted baguettes – if I was in Spain, tapas would be a no-no for me.
  • Corn on the cob – same as above.
  • Peanut brittle, taffy, any kind of hard candy.
  • Cheese – is actually not so much a no-go food than a ‘just be careful when you’re eating it’ food because if you’re not, you might end up with sticky cheese in your braces.
  • Apples – do not crunch or you’ll break a wire or something!
  • Surprisingly, I found ice-cream a lot harder to eat because it tends to much harder than yoghurts or sorbets.
  • Sushi – sadly, it’s hard to bite into sushi with braces…and like I said above, the rice can get stuck in your braces, which makes for a few funny grimaces as you try to swirl your tongue around and loosen the bits out.

I’ve mentioned a few warnings in this post about getting teeth stuck in your braces. Next, I’ll talk about the emergency dental kit that you should carry around with you at all times to avoid any embarrassing situations at the table!

photo credit: » Zitona « via photopin cc

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