Easy-to-Eat Foods for Tray Change Day

If you’ve been following along on my “elder Millennial” aligner journey, welcome back! If you’re new here, hello! I’ve been detailing my straighter smile saga, and this time I’m going to discuss some of my most recent comfort foods. (Literally and metaphorically.)

For anyone else who’s had aligners or even braces, you’re all too familiar with the feeling of your teeth being adjusted. Changing trays are a lot like when braces are being updated, whether that’s switching out bands or reconfiguring wires.

Changing tray day with aligners occurs on a different day, depending on how cooperative your teeth are. For me, it’s been every 7-12 days. Honestly, it does take tooth sensitivity to another level. Oof!

Thankfully, though, I’ve got some foods that have been easy on my mouth, so I want to share them with you in case you’re on your own alignment journey, too.

Here are a few foods I’ve been eating that have not only been delicious, but helpful to get over the first 48 hours of discomfort:

Grilled cheese (good ol’ American cheese style)

 Honestly, this is such an adult staple. Maybe throw in some warm, tomato soup along with it for that extra taste of comfort! (And the Northern Virginia warm weather then cold again doesn’t help.) PS – if you use mayonnaise instead of butter – it gives it that same taste that you get from those killer sandwiches from diners.


 Big thanks to Blue Apron lately for this recent favorite. Flakey white fish. Yum. Who knew it would be so perfect during this journey? Pro tip – opt for the mashed potatoes as a side for this dish – the squish helps.


I’m thankful that risotto comes in many different flavors so I can switch it up, without worrying about sensitivity. Quinoa is also a good alternative with more protein.

Ziti and Manicotti

Yes, pasta is the way to my heart these days. But even without aligners, who could resist? (And I still ship Ledo’s Pizza Sauce to myself quarterly. Some things are too good to give up despite moving halfway across the country.)

Eggplant Parmigiana

 Can you tell I’m Italian? I know I might be in the minority, but eggplant is one of my favorite foods. They are also nice and soft so I get to make the extra excuse to have them frequently. (Apologies to my husband who isn’t a fan of these veggies…)

Other Comfort Foods to Try

While this list certainly isn’t exhaustive, these were some of my aligner survival favorites. And don’t let this deter you from aligners! I promise it’s manageable. But sincerely, those first 48, just like the tv show, can be pretty intense depending on how cooperative your teeth are.

Here are some other ideas on what to eat if your mouth is feeling a little tender, whether that’s from aligners or any other tooth sensitivity:

  • Jell-o
  • Broth
  • Pudding
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Protein shakes
  • Ice cream or froyo
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Applesauce
  • Hummus
  • Noodles
  • Tuna or chicken salad
  • Cooked fruit
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cooked veggies and fruits


I hope telling my story on this aligner adventure offers you a helpful glimpse into what the process could be like for anyone wishing to do the same in the future! More than anything, I just want to be able to look back on all of this once my smile is adjusted and think, “Wow! I did that.”

Of course, this wouldn’t be nearly as easy without my amazing orthodontist, Dr. Crutchfield. If you’re anywhere near the Chantilly, VA area, check out Orthodontics by Crutchfield for your own aligner journey. (Trust me, he’s the best!) Be sure to stay tuned for the next part of this blog series!