How To Make Smart Food Choices For Oral Concerns

Rissoto as an example of soft food

There’s a lot of talk about our diets and how they affect our health these days. Everyone knows that the composition of our diet can have serious consequences. We can gain weight, develop heart disease and countless other maladies. Outside of sugar, however, there isn’t much talk about foods for good oral health. There’s even less about what to eat after dental work or when experiencing other oral concerns. Whether you’re wearing braces or facing a case of canker sores, knowing what to eat during these times is essential.  

Foods To Choose While Experiencing Dental Concerns

What your specific concerns are is going to influence the food choices that are best for you. Canker sores, for instance, will require different choices than having braces. Some of these choices will be temporary. Others will need to be persistent to maintain your oral health long-term. Below you’ll find a list of oral health concerns and the foods that make wise choices while experiencing them.

  • Braces and Orthodontic Treatments – The list of foods to avoid when wearing braces is pretty extensive. Hard candies like peanut brittle and jawbreakers are out. You should also avoid foods that you have to bite through. This list includes ribs, corn on the cob, and apples. Soft foods are your best options, like mashed potatoes and soup. You can also remove the corn from the cob and the meat from the ribs.
  • Canker Sores – Distinct from cold sores caused by herpes simplex, canker sores aren’t contagious. What they are, however, is painful and sensitive to acidic foods. Spicy and acidic foods can cause them to occur. While having a breakout, eat potatoes, fruit, peanut butter, milk, and shredded meats. Other soft foods, like ice cream and yogurt, are acceptable as well.
  • Dry Mouth – Dry mouth is usually the result of other medical conditions the patient is experiencing. Speaking to your dentist and PCP is an essential first step. While having an episode of dry mouth, you should avoid salty and spicy foods. You should moisten dry foods with broth, gravy, or soup. It would help if you also avoided tobacco and acidic drinks altogether.
  • Oral Surgery –  If you’ve recently had oral surgery, be prepared for your dietary options to be limited. Soft foods are going to be the order of the day. Eggs, shredded meats, soft-cooked vegetables, and beans are good nutrient-rich examples.
  • Difficulty Chewing – You must choose soft foods if chewing is difficult for you. All of the options listed above work well for those experiencing this kind of difficulty.

The selection above is far from comprehensive. The majority of the foods listed are easily accessible or essential to avoid. If the oral health concern you’re struggling with isn’t listed above, call your dentist.

Reduce Recovery Time With Responsible Food Choices

Living without the foods you love most can undoubtedly be a struggle. Extending the time it takes to recover from oral procedures is decidedly worse. Even if you don’t cause actual damage, eating the wrong kind of food can be costly and painful. Speak to your dentist to ensure you’re giving yourself the best chance to recover quickly.

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dr ulysses vargas dds south hill comprehensive dentistry

Dr. Vargas earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, graduating with Distinction in Research honors. While in Dental school he was active in research and presented at the AADR in Tamp Florida where abstract was accepted into the finalist Dentsply/Caulk competition, his work received 2nd place at the 30th annual Dental Science Symposium. Dr. Vargas is an active member of several dental affiliated societies and organizations, which are the American Dental AssociationTexas Dental AssociationSan Antonio District Dental SocietyAmerican Student Dental Association.

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