What Can I Eat With Braces?

Since learning that you will need metal or clear braces, you have likely heard from friends or family (or read online) about how orthodontic care can restrict your diet. While it is true that you will need to adjust your diet to minimize the amount of crunchy/hard food you consume, there is still plenty of soft, delicious food you can enjoy! 

At About Faces and Braces Orthodontics, we know that such a significant change to your lifestyle can be intimidating and potentially discouraging, but we also want to assure you that it is not as big a deal as it seems! 

The Dangers Of Unsafe Food With Braces.

Before we get into all the fantastic options you have to satisfy your hunger, let’s first go over why it is so crucial that you change your eating habits during treatment. 

As we tighten your wires to move your teeth into their desired positions, your teeth and gums will feel sore. Though it may seem like that period of soreness is the only time your diet needs to be different, that’s not the case! You should implement these recommended diet modifications until we remove your braces to protect them and you.

When you eat food considered harmful to your bonded appliances, you risk breaking your braces and causing unnecessary and avoidable pain. Broken brackets from eating the wrong food can be painful, and broken wires poke your cheek, which can be irritating and cause irritation. Eating the “wrong” food and drinks can also make thoroughly cleaning your braces challenging, increasing your risk of developing cavities, bad breath, and other health risks that could result in a frustrating orthodontic experience.

We want your experience to be as pleasant as possible! After all, you are working toward an admirable and beneficial goal, and the more enjoyable it is, the more likely you will achieve it! We will do everything we can to ensure the quality of your time with us; however, we need your help! Maintaining a diet approved by Dr. Shawn and Dr. Candice reduces your chances of an orthodontic emergency, making your treatment journey more comfortable and the transition into braces life easier.

What Food Should You Avoid?

Once we glue your brackets to your teeth and install your wires, you should avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy food. Another big nope is food you have to bite into! You should limit sugary drinks and snacks for your braces and teeth health. 

Below are more specific examples.

  • Popcorn. 
  • Chips.
  • Oreos.
  • Taffy, Caramel, And Other Sticky Candies.
  • Hard Candies.
  • Apples.
  • Corn On The Cob.
  • Lollipops.
  • Gummies.
  • Sodas, Energy Drinks, And Other Sugary Beverages. 
  • Gum.
  • Crackers.
  • Beef Jerky.
  • Ice Chewing.
  • Nuts.
  • Stringy Vegetables Like Celery And Other Hard/Crunchy Vegetables.

This list is not exhaustive, so be sure to ask Dr. Shawn or Dr. Candice before adding anything new to your diet.

So, What Can You Eat?

We know that it seems like we’ve removed a lot of food from your pantry and fridge, but don’t worry! There are still various things to eat for mealtime or when you want a snack. Below are some examples to help you understand what you can enjoy during your time in braces.

  • Palatable Pastas! — With a seemingly endless selection of recipes to make at home and restaurants offering tasty dishes with varying nutritional value and flavors, it will be hard to get tired of this braces-friendly option! 
  • Boneless, Mouthwatering Meats! — We strongly recommend avoiding any meal or snack with bones in it. Accidentally biting down on it can damage your braces. If you’re confused about why we said earlier you shouldn’t have beef jerky, but now we’re telling you that you can eat boneless meats, we’ll elaborate! Beef jerky is typically tough to bite into and chewy. Both traits can injure your braces. We suggest you stick to softer meats—like salmon, tuna, and meatloaf—and make sure your pieces are bite-sized.
  • Nutritious Vital Veggies! — You should always avoid stringy vegetables like celery, but you don’t need to avoid all vegetables. Because most vegetables are hard or crunchy, boil or steam your veggies to make them softer and safer.
  • Flavorful Fruits! —Soft fruits like strawberries, bananas, blueberries, and even pineapples, are safe to eat with braces! If you prefer more acidic fruits, like pineapples and oranges, ensure you upkeep your oral hygiene to protect your enamel!
  • Savory Soups! — Though soups are usually associated with winter, they can be enjoyed all year! Like pasta, many delicious and nutritious soups are available for you to slurp down while wearing braces.
  • Yummy Soft Breads! — Bread that is too hard (like croutons in a salad, crunchy bread rolls and sandwich bread, and even pizza crust!) can put too much pressure on your braces and cause harm. Opt for softer bread instead — they’re just as delicious! (For example, choose soft tortillas instead of taco shells.)
  • Enticing Casseroles! — Casseroles come in many shapes, sizes, and flavors, so you can look forward to mealtime without worrying about harming your orthodontic equipment.
  • Delightful Hummus Or Bean Dip! — When indulging in these fantastic treats, avoid pairing them with unsafe food like crackers.
  • Delectable Dairy Products! — Smoothies, milkshakes, ice cream, yogurt, puddings, and soft cheeses are all great ways to satisfy your sweet tooth or snack cravings without hurting your braces. (Dr. Shawn and Dr. Candice advise you to consume sugary food and drinks in moderation to protect the health of your teeth.)
  • Egg-cellant Eggs! — This soft protein source can be prepared in a few ways and can also be a stand-alone addition to your meal or added to your favorite recipes.

What If You Have Clear Braces?

Patients with clear braces must alter their diet as above to accommodate their bonded appliances, but we would like to share a couple of extra tips. Though it is unlikely, your braces can become discolored over time. To help preserve their appearance, avoid food that might stain your braces, such as red food or drinks, coffees, or teas, and rinse your mouth with water after eating to remove any residue.

What Can I Eat With Braces?

Visit Us At About Faces and Braces Orthodontics To Learn More!

Whether you are a new patient who wants to learn more before they begin treatment or a current patient who desires guidance personalized to your lifestyle, our About Faces and Braces Orthodontics team has you covered!

Transitioning into and living with orthodontic care doesn’t need to be daunting or discouraging. Our knowledgeable and compassionate team will keep you informed throughout the entire process to guarantee you the best results and a pleasant time with us.

To learn more about braces, schedule a check-up appointment or free consultation! We look forward to providing you with the highest quality care!