Getting braces and worried about recovery/snack food?!

This will be my first STP and I am an adult getting braces for the first time and I'm worried about what I will (or will not) be able to eat for my recovery, ie in kind bars, cliff bars etc.  I know I won't be able to survive on the gels alone (I hear they're hard on your stomach), does anyone have any recommendations? Homemade, store bought...I'm open to any suggestions.  My Orthodontist is not a cyclist so I'm reaching out here to see if I can find a direction.

Thank you for any assistance anyone can provide!

Submitted by Jim Werner on

eat what you normally eat.  having braces, i had them for 4 years, it is suggested that you avoid sugar which can work its way under the bands, but for the ride don't worry about it.  as for your training just remember to keep your teeth clean.  when you brush your teeth be sure to brush the face, the chewing surfaces and behind the tooth.  i don't want to hear that you weasled out of the ride because you were wearing braces.  there are enough people out there ducking their training without adding the weasles and those bearily getting in shape for the ride.

I don't know if it's gels that get your stomach going.. I suppose it's different for everyone but sugar certainly is a stomach churner.  You should look into NUUN tablets.  Might be a good alternative.

Jim, no weasels here! I fully intend on doing the STP and the Tour de Cure which happens 2 days after I get my braces...I may be new to cycling but not afraid of hard work :-)
I appreciate your advice and look forward to the ride!

I like the NUUN tablets but I don't normally do surgery stuff, so I'm sure the gels won't serve me well. I'm sure my least favorite fruit, bananas, will become my good friend. Thank you for responding!

Submitted by Jim Werner on

don't be surprised if your teeth hurt for a week or so after you get them.  as they tighten them on your follow up visits expect the same.

Submitted by Julia Hanke on

One of my STP companions got full adult braces a week before the ride last year.  Just eat slowly, take small bites and be mindful of your brackets.  Adult braces seem to be less substantial than what I wore 20 years ago, meaning there's less glue surface area on the tooth so they're a little easier to knock off with hard foods (said riding partner does have issues with brackets popping off when he's not paying attention).  He eats all the same stuff we do on all of our rides, cliff bars, bonk breakers, honey stingers and shotblock chews, gu packets.  Test out all the various flavors/brands of energy gel, they're very helpful to get calories in when it's hot, you're fatigued and just don't want to eat solids but you don't want to find out you hate the flavor you picked on a long ride!  Skip the Nature Valley crunchy granola bars, they seem the most risky for breakage.  And talk to your Ortho for tips.  Turns out my current dentist is an avid tri-athlete and distance runner and she was full of teeth friendly snacks and advice for my newly braced up riding partner!

Consider avoiding a tightening/adjustment appointment right before any big events so you won't have a sore jaw.