Best Foods to Eat With Braces

Are you contemplating getting braces or have already committed to enhancing your smile? If so, you’re likely wondering about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to your diet.

The good news is that there are plenty of braces-friendly foods that you can still savor during your orthodontic journey. Of course, there are also some foods you’ll need to steer clear of. But isn’t the prospect of having a healthy and confident smile worth temporarily bidding farewell to a few favorites? Many of our patients certainly think so.

In this guide, we invite you to explore the variety of foods and beverages you can enjoy with braces, along with some cooking tips. Additionally, we’ll provide insight into the delights you can look forward to indulging in once your treatment is complete (Laffy Taffy, anyone?).

Initial Days with Braces

As with any life adjustment, the first few days can be challenging. After getting braces, your mouth may be sensitive, especially in the days following your initial appointment. During this time, it’s advisable to stick to soft foods. When in doubt, opt for anything easy to chew – like the comforting choice of mac n’ cheese!

Ideal foods to consume right after getting braces (and throughout your treatment) include:

  • – Oatmeal
  • – Scrambled eggs
  • – Soups
  • – Pasta
  • – Seafood
  • – Soft vegetables
  • – Mashed potatoes
  • – Soft cheeses
  • – Bananas
  • – Yogurt

While there are several safe foods to enjoy during treatment, some may cause sensitivity in the first few days. Foods to avoid during this initial period of tooth sensitivity include:

  • – Ice cream (brrrr!)
  • – Spicy foods
  • – Citrus fruits
  • – Chewy bread or rolls (cut into small pieces)
  • – Chewy cuts of meat (cut into small pieces)

The good news is that you’ll soon be able to relish these foods again as your teeth adjust to having braces.

Watch Out for These No-No Foods with Braces

Let’s address the less exciting part upfront! Ideally, you’d have the freedom to eat and drink anything while wearing braces. Unfortunately, there are certain foods you’ll need to say goodbye to during your treatment – specifically those that are hard or sticky. These types of foods can potentially damage your wires, bands, or even lead to a bracket separating from a tooth.

Here’s a list of foods to steer clear of with braces:

  • – Hard candy
  • – Sticky candy like jellybeans or taffy
  • – Popcorn
  • – Nuts
  • – Hard pretzels or chips
  • – Crunchy vegetables or fruits
  • – Pizza crust
  • – Bagels or hard rolls
  • – Ice

Embrace the Best Foods for Your (Soon-to-Be) Dazzling Smile

Thankfully, there are numerous delicious foods that you can still enjoy with braces, making you forget about the ones you need to avoid. The American Association of Orthodontists encourages you to relish a variety of healthy and easy-to-chew foods during orthodontic treatment.

In addition to the foods suitable for consumption right after getting braces, here’s a more comprehensive list of ideal foods for braces:

Dairy:

  • – Yogurt
  • – Milk
  • – Pudding
  • – Cottage Cheese
  • – Ice Cream

Breads and Grains:

  • – Oatmeal
  • – Pancakes and waffles
  • – Muffins (without nuts)
  • – Macaroni and cheese
  • – Spaghetti
  • – Cooked rice

Meats and Proteins:

  • – Shredded Chicken
  • – Meatloaf
  • – Meatballs
  • – Lunchmeat
  • – Fish
  • – Eggs

Fruits & Vegetables:

  • – Bananas
  • – Applesauce
  • – Watermelon
  • – Grapes
  • – Mashed potatoes
  • – Cooked beans
  • – Steamed vegetables

Other:

  • – Casseroles
  • – Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • – Jello
  • – Soups
  • – Grilled cheese

And that’s just the beginning! Consider this period as a great opportunity to explore and try different foods. Who knows, you might discover some new recipes that become staples in your menu long after your braces come off.

Cooking and Meal Preparation Made Easy

Our cooking advice for those with braces is straightforward: opt for soft options. Soft-cooked meats, rice, potatoes, and vegetables are all safe and enjoyable during orthodontic treatment.

Utilizing a crockpot or instant pot can be incredibly convenient when whipping up braces-friendly meals. Here are some additional tips:

  • – Cut sandwiches, crunchy fruits, vegetables, or bread into bite-sized pieces.
  • – Remove the crust from a slice of pizza before eating (remember to use your back teeth when chewing).
  • – Avoid eating meat directly off the bone.

Don’t Forget About Drinks

For those with braces, smoothies and healthy shakes are excellent alternatives. It’s crucial to limit the intake of sugary drinks like soda, juice, and sports drinks. When sugar mixes with saliva, it forms a sticky film (plaque) on the teeth.

While brushing can remove plaque, it becomes more challenging with braces, increasing the risk of tooth decay and cavities. Opting for tap water and milk is always the best choice for beverages with braces.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Now for some good news – even though hard and sticky candies are off-limits, there are still some types of candy you can indulge in while wearing braces. (Because let’s face it, we all crave a chocolate fix now and then!)

Enjoy these sweet treats in moderation:

  • – Chocolate (without caramel or nuts)
  • – Peanut butter cups
  • – 3 Musketeers and Kit Kat bars
  • – Marshmallows
  • – Soft cookies

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