The Best Foods to Eat (and Avoid) When You Have Braces

Posted on October 5, 2023

Hard or Crunchy Foods

Having braces can be a challenging journey, especially when it comes to food choices. Are you struggling to find the right foods that won’t damage your braces and still provide the necessary nutrition?

Wearing braces is a common orthodontic treatment that helps align teeth and create a beautiful smile. However, it also means making some adjustments to your eating habits to avoid damaging the braces or causing discomfort. It’s crucial to know which foods are safe to eat and which ones you should avoid during this time.

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for everyone, but it becomes even more crucial when you have braces. Certain foods can pose a risk to your braces, while others can provide the nutrition your body needs to support the orthodontic treatment.

In this post, we will explore the best foods to eat and the ones to avoid when you have braces, ensuring you make the right food choices and take care of your orthodontic journey.

How Diet Choices Can Impact Your Orthodontic Journey

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, diet choices can have a significant impact on the overall journey. Certain foods can potentially damage the brackets or wires of braces, leading to longer treatment times or even broken appliances.

Hard and sticky foods, such as caramel, popcorn, or chewing gum, should be avoided as they can get stuck in the braces or cause them to break.

On the other hand, a healthy and balanced diet consisting of soft, nutrient-rich foods can support the orthodontic process by promoting proper tooth and jaw development.

Choosing foods that are easy to chew and won’t cause harm to the braces will ultimately contribute to a smoother and more successful orthodontic journey.

Foods to Incorporate in Your Diet

Having braces can sometimes feel like a restriction, especially when it comes to food choices. However, taking care of your teeth while wearing braces is essential for a successful orthodontic treatment. Knowing which foods to eat and avoid can make a significant difference in keeping your braces intact and your dental health in check.

Here are some of the best foods to eat and foods to avoid when you have braces.

  • Soft Fruits and Vegetables: Opt for soft fruits like bananas, berries, or peaches, as well as cooked vegetables like carrots or broccoli. These foods are gentle on your braces and won’t cause any damage or discomfort.
  • Soft Meats: Choose tender cuts of meat that are easy to chew, such as chicken, fish, or lean cuts of beef. Avoid tough or chewy meats that can get stuck in your braces or be hard to bite into.
  • Dairy Products: Foods like yogurt, cheese, and soft milk-based products are excellent choices for those with braces. They provide essential nutrients like calcium and protein while being gentle on your braces.
  • Soups and Stews: Warm soups or stews with finely chopped ingredients are both nutritious and easy to eat when you have braces. Just make sure to avoid any chunky or hard pieces that could damage your braces.
  • Soft Grains: Foods like pancakes, soft bread, pasta, or oatmeal are all braces-friendly options. These foods are easy to chew and won’t cause any harm to your braces.

Items to Limit: Foods Best Avoided

  • Foods to Avoid While Undergoing Orthodontic TreatmentSticky and Chewy Foods
    • Avoid foods like caramel, taffy, chewing gum, or sticky candies. They can easily get stuck in your braces, making it challenging to clean properly and potentially causing damage.
  • Hard and Crunchy Foods
    • Stay away from hard candies, nuts, popcorn, ice cubes, or crunchy vegetables like raw carrots. These foods can break or dislodge your braces and lead to discomfort or even injury.
  • Tough Meats
    • Skip tough cuts of meat, such as steaks or jerky, as they require excessive chewing and can pose a risk to your braces.
  • Corn on the Cob and Apples
    • While these are healthy choices, they can put substantial pressure on your braces. Opt for cutting the kernels off the cob and slicing apples into bite-sized pieces.
  • Carbonated Drinks
    • Soda and other carbonated beverages should be avoided, as they can corrode the braces’ metal brackets and increase the risk of tooth decay.

Remember, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene when you have braces. In addition to watching your diet, make sure to brush and floss regularly, using specialized tools that are designed for braces. Attend regular check-ups with your orthodontist to ensure that your treatment is progressing smoothly.

By being mindful of the foods you eat and avoiding items that can harm your braces, you can protect your oral health and enhance your orthodontic journey.

It may take some adjustment at first, but the end result will be well worth the effort. Soon enough, you’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite foods with a straighter and healthier smile.

Eating Smart with Braces

If you’ve recently started wearing braces, you may find that it takes some time to adjust to the new addition in your mouth. One of the biggest adjustments is to your eating habits. With braces, certain foods can become difficult to eat and can even damage your braces. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Here are some tips for eating with braces:

  • Choose Soft Foods

    While your teeth and gums are still getting used to the braces, it’s best to stick to soft foods that won’t cause any pain or damage. Foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, soup, scrambled eggs, and smoothies are all great options that won’t put too much pressure on your braces.

  • Cut Your Food into Small Pieces

    If you want to eat something harder, like fruits or vegetables, make sure to cut them into small, bite-sized pieces. This will make it easier to chew and reduce the risk of getting food stuck in your braces.

  • Avoid Sticky and Chewy Foods

    Foods like toffee, caramels, gum, and gummy bears can easily get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove. These sticky and chewy snacks can also damage your braces, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

  • Say No to Crunchy Foods

    Hard and crunchy foods such as popcorn, nuts, chips, and hard pretzels can potentially break your braces or get stuck in them. Opt for softer alternatives like cheese puffs, soft pretzels, or smooth crackers.

  • Be Cautious With Meats

    Woman dentist working on teeth implantWhen eating meat, it’s important to be mindful of the texture and tenderness. Tough meats can be difficult to chew and can even damage your braces. Stick to tender meats, such as chicken, fish, or meatloaf.

  • Chew Carefully

    When chewing with braces, it’s important to take your time and chew carefully. Avoid biting into hard foods directly with your front teeth, as this can put excessive pressure on the brackets and wires. Instead, use your back teeth for chewing.

  • Rinse and Brush After Every Meal

    Food particles can easily get stuck in your braces, leading to plaque buildup and potential tooth decay. Make sure to rinse your mouth with water after every meal and brush your teeth thoroughly to keep your braces clean.

    Remember, eating with braces requires some adjustments to your diet, but it’s only temporary. Stick to these tips, take care of your braces, and soon enough, you’ll be able to enjoy all your favorite foods again with a straight and beautiful smile.

Optimal Diet for Braces Maintenance: Insights from Smilebliss

Navigating your meals with braces can be a challenge, but with the right choices, you can ensure their longevity and your comfort. At Smilebliss, we emphasize the importance of a braces-friendly diet.

By avoiding sticky, hard, and overly crunchy foods, you can prevent bracket breakage and minimize discomfort. On the flip side, embracing soft, non-acidic foods can aid in quicker adjustment and healing after adjustments.

Remember, the foods you choose not only impact your overall health but also the success of your orthodontic journey. Trust in Smilebliss to guide you to a smile worth every bite. Book now!

Click here to return to top of page arrow leading back to top