Slow down. Chew slowly and carefully, and cut your food into small pieces. Forget about taking big bites of anything, or wolfing down your food. The key word here is: SLOW!
Stick to soft food. Eventually you'll be able to eat steak again. But for the next few weeks, lean toward soft foods.
Avoid stringy foods, especially if you have a palate expander. You may love to wind your spaghetti around your fork, but for now it would be better for you to cut it into small pieces, or it will get wound around your brackets. Also, be careful with foods that get stringy when they melt, like mozzarella cheese.
Forget the nuts and seeds. These will get stuck in your brackets and drive you crazy until you finally brush and get them out. Ditto for the hulls of popcorn. Sticky foods will likely stick to your brackets and be hard to clean off. You also want to avoid biting into anything hard that may break or pop off a bracket.
Bite with the side of your mouth. It may be virtually impossible to bite into anything with your front teeth for a while. Get used to biting with your side teeth, instead. Besides, if you try to bite into a burrito with your front teeth, your front brackets will probably get plastered with tortilla.
Speaking of burritos, beware of anything with large hidden chunks of meat or vegetables, like burritos or sandwich wraps. Bite carefully into those types of foods so that you don't choke, or better yet, eat them with a fork and knife instead.
Sushi will be very challenging and could gag you. You should probably cut it in half instead of trying to pop an entire piece of it into your mouth.
Treat yourself to something cold, such as ice cream, popsicles, or frozen yogurt. The cold temporarily dulls the pain from your braces. (For longer lasting pain relief, check out the gumEase product).
Develop an arsenal of soft food recipes. You don't need to sentence yourself to boring soups and shakes. There are several cookbooks that can help you prepare healthy, delicious meals, such as The Braces Cookbook, The Braces Cookbook2, Tender Teeth Cookbook, and Surviving Braces. Also check out the soft food suggestions on our sister website, ArchWired.com.