What To Eat With Braces And What Not A Definitive Guide
By Madiha Saad
Getting braces is undoubtedly an extremely anxious period with the fear of adjusting to the changes associated with it. Orthodontics braces are advised to help straighten and align the teeth while improving overall dental health. .
While adjusting to your mouths new dynamics might be discomforting, it can be made soothing by adopting appropriate food choices.
You must be wondering now that what to eat with braces?
A soft and low in sugar diet that requires minimal effort to chew is recommended after getting braces. The ideal food choices include:
- Steamed Vegetables
Having braces does not mean that your diet must be boring with pureed and soft foods you just need to have a braces-friendly diet to protect them from breakage.
Is It A Challenge Eating With Braces
Eating with metal or ceramic braces attached to your teeth is undoubtedly a challenge. However, the same is not valid with clear aligners that allow you to eat anything described earlier to your hearts content.
If you must avoid your favorite ice cream, thick rolls of bread, thicker cuts of meat, spicy foods, and citrus fruits with braces, you encounter no such challenges when having clear aligners or your teeth to straighten them. The removable feature of clear aligners also removes the dietary restrictions orthodontic treatments impose on you. Therefore if you want to have a grilled cheese sandwich with clear aligners, you are free to indulge yourself without the fear of damaging the clear braces. Remember, we are talking about the aligners and not clear braces such as ceramic braces.
Cereals Grains Nuts And Seeds
Whole grains provide essential nutrients and our orthodontist recommends eating these foods consisting of grains, nuts and seeds.
- Soft, healthy breads without the crust and cut into tiny bite size pieces
- Biscuits and crescent rolls are much easier to eat than hard rolls and bagels
- Creamy nut spreads for example, peanut butter, almond butter and hazelnut chocolate spread
- Nuts, seeds and whole grains can be ground or finely chopped before adding to a recipe, so they wont get stuck in between the braces
- Soft cereals are recommended oatmeal and cream of wheat are ideal
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What Happens If You Eat Wrong Food
If you eat wrong foods like nuts, hard rolls, popcorns, bubble gums, and lollies while wearing braces, then you put a risk of breaking wires and brackets attached to your appliance.
This will increase the treatment time and thus, making to visit your orthodontist several times.
Eating foods that are chewy, crunchy, and high in sugar content causes discomfort and can create an environment of plaque and bacteria that further decays the teeth and gums, thus prolonging the treatment time.
I have developed a handy list of dos & donts so that it becomes easier to snack while wearing braces.
Please note that some of the hard foods can be eaten if they are grounded well. You can even have some fast foods if you break them into small bites before eating.
Remember to eat slowly and chew cautiously, and do not bite onto hard substances at once. Use your back teeth to chew and use pain relievers prescribed by your orthodontics to ease sensitivity.
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Food You Can Eat With Braces
Braces are important for aligning your teeth, theres no doubt about that. But, they can also be frustrating, especially when you first get them. You have to be very careful at the beginning, as many foods can damage your braces, which is the last thing that you want. Thankfully, there are many types of food you can eat with braces.
A good general rule is to be careful with food that is sticky or gooey, along with food that requires a decent amount of chewing. This is true regardless of whether youre eating healthy or unhealthy foods .
While breaking the rules every so often might seem appealing, this isnt a good idea, especially when you first get your braces. Damaging your braces often means that youll need extra appointments to fix any problems. This can cost money and may even lengthen your treatment time.
And, regardless of what you eat, make sure that you brush your teeth and floss regularly. Doing so can make a huge difference to your overall experience.
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Foods To Avoid With Braces This Summer
Most things that you bite into with your front teeth can damage your wires, bands, or brackets. Scheduling additional visits for orthodontic services and repairs can really put a cramp in your summer plans! Some of these foods can be prepared in ways that are easier to eat with braces, but, in general, avoid:
What Breakfast Can I Eat With Braces
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What About Snack Time
Naturally, youre going to get a little hungry in between meals. If you are going to enjoy a quick snack in between meals, be sure to stick with our soft-food guidelines! Outside of regular mealtimes, some other snacks that you can enjoy during the day are:
- Fruit yogurts
- Fruit melons, kiwis, and grapes
- Egg dishes
- Soft cheese
When it comes to your snack choices, as long as its soft and easy on your teeth, go for it! Just make sure that your picks are not too sugary, and always brush your teeth after eating.
When you first get braces, one of the most difficult adjustments is figuring out how to eat. While youre wearing your braces, its important to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet. Your body will thank you for it! Keep in mind that when you have braces, your teeth are at a higher risk of developing cavities. So while strawberry milkshakes are extremely tempting right now, its best to keep sugar consumption to a minimum.
Not sure if your favorite food is on the no-fly list? Feel free to ask us! Here at Orthodontics LA, we are committed to helping you navigate the ups and downs of life with braces. If you ever have any questions, give us a call or visit our offices in Encino or Glendale!
Get More Braces Advice From Myorthodontist
Wearing braces can be hard, whether you are a kid or an adult. But protecting your teeth and eating the right kinds of foods, can make all the difference down the road.
Thats not the only tricky thing about braces, however. We understand that you might have more questions or concerns. MyOrthodontist is here to help you.
So, whether you are considering getting braces or already have them, feel free to reach out to us. We would be glad to answer your questions. Or, if you would like to speak with an orthodontic specialist in person, look up the North Carolina location nearest you.
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Cooking And Food Prep Tips
Our best advice for cooking is quite simple: keep it soft. Soft-cooked meats, rice, potatoes, and vegetables are all safe to enjoy with braces. A crockpot or instant pot can be extremely helpful when making braces-friendly meals. You should also:
- Cut sandwiches and any crunchy fruits, vegetables, or bread into bite-sized pieces
- Cut the crust off a slice of pizza before eating it
- Never eat meat off the bone
Foods For The First Week Of Braces
Let us break a bubble for you. The transition period after getting braces might not be comfortable. You will feel discomfort while eating for at least the first week. It is best to start with a diet of softer foods until you get used to eating with your new braces.
Soft and easy to chew foods must be taken during this time to make the transition smoother and prevent additional pressure on your brackets.
The best choices for the first week can be:
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Are Braces Cool Now
With quality engineered brackets that come in different shapes, colorful elastics, and options for invisible braces, braces are cooler now than they have ever been. Even though movies and TV shows often portray children and teenagers being teased for wearing braces, the opposite is usually true in real life.
Our Story & What We Didnt Expect
As a parent, you know its possible your child may need braces for their teeth someday. We were told our oldest wouldnt need braces for his teeth until surprisehe did. The dentist found an impacted canine that got missed on a previous x-ray plus, they said hey, that canine in his mouth is actually a baby tooth. Say what? My teenage son thought he had lost all his baby teeth and the canine was just a smaller tooth. Nope. Wrong. We needed braces for our son, including a plan for oral surgery to attempt to pull his canine tooth out of the roof of his mouth and into place.
We were all not happy and ugh for the pain of it all and ugh for the cost. However, we knew we needed to do it. Plus, his orthodontic evaluation brought to light other issues that braces could fix for him. This was to be our road, like it or not.
I waited patiently in the waiting room for the two hours it took the orthodontic staff to apply the braces on my sons teeth. We were headed out the door and the orthodontists advice for him was to eat soft foods for braces and take ibuprofen. I thought, okay, we can do that.
However, I came to find out quickly that I would have liked more information than that.
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Not Just Solid Foods Are Problematic
Some otherwise healthy foods which we dont often think about can be problematic as they can damage the supports. Such foods include raw apples and carrots, and crusty rolls or bread. If you find it hard to give these up, at least cut them into small, bite-size morsels. Though a food like spaghetti is soft, its longer strands can wind around the brackets. Ditto for stringy foods like melted mozzarella cheese. So, slice them into smaller pieces. There is something else on the list of things to avoid. If chewing habits include biting your fingernails or gnawing on your pen or pencil- forget it- theyre out, as well. Often we can get so concerned about what we chew that we often forget about what we drink. Fizzy, sugary beverages such as sodas and natural fruit juices should be avoided after braces because theyre acidic as well as sweet. If you cant abide this, at least use a straw. Heeding the advice above after braces will ensure a more healthy life.
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When Can You Bite Into Food With Braces
You need to eat soft foods until you get used to chewing with braces so that you can begin chewing with them. Raw vegetables should be avoided, as well as hard meats and bread. After the first couple weeks, its not possible to chew or eat with braces. At that point, you need to protect your orthodontic appliances.
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Can I Eat A Sandwich With Braces
This classic sandwich is delicious made between meats, cheese, lettuce, tomato, or bread for teens and adults. Various meat, cheese, vegetables, and bread varieties are included to make this lunch food. While both sandwiches and wraps are soft foods that work well with braces, you do not need to worry about braces or wires being damaged.
Chewy Foods Like Gums Caramel Or Taffy
Sticky foods like caramel, gums, and toffees are off the menu during your braces treatment time. They may get stuck under your braces attachment and can loosen the bands and brackets of your braces.
During orthodontic treatment, teeth are more at risk of decay. Excessive sugar present in such kinds of food is awful for braces and dental health.
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What To Dip In Cheese Fondue
One reason cheese fondue is such a great dinner choice is because you can really dip anything into it! Trying to get your kids to eat more veggies? When they can use a fun little fork, theyll gladly dip those veggies in cheese sauce! I sliced up four colors of bell peppers for dipping. I also included broccoli florets. No one in my family cares for cauliflower, so I didnt include that, but it would be a great choice for this recipe.
This time, I was shooting for a fun option for a meatless dinner, so I just included vegetables, fruits, and gluten-free breads and gluten-free pretzels for dipping. Next time I make this, Im going to include some cooked meat options as well. Ideas include crispy bacon, thick chunks of ham, gluten-free meatballs, and quartered hamburger patties. Any other ideas? Let me know!
Its also fun for the kids to help get everything sliced for this. My boys like using the pizza cutter to cut the tortilla wedges. I used certified gluten-free Udis Gluten Free Flour Tortillas. I brushed them with oil, sprinkled with coarse sea salt, and baked until crispy. When sliced these are like a soft tortilla chip. My son with braces especially loved these, as he cant eat crunchy chips right now!
The kids can also help with the baguette slices. I sliced Udis Gluten Free French Baguettes diagonally into 1/2 thick slices. Then I had my kids brush some with garlic butter and some with olive oil that we sprinkled some salt and herbs on before baking.
Playing Sports With Braces
We have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let Dr. Sabatino know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.
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Can You Eat Chips & Popcorn With Braces
You need to avoid hard chips and popcorn with braces. Both of these foods are hard and crunchy and put pressure on the braces brackets and wire when you eat them. In addition, the small bits of hard chips and the popcorn kernels will get stuck under the wire, and are very difficult to clean out. This can cause bacterial growth on your teeth, as well as staining and discoloration of the dental enamel. Some chips are okay to eat with braces: softer chips like Pringles, baked chips, and cheese puffs are all approved to eat with braces on. Just make sure to eat one at a time and bite them with your back teeth. Hard chips to avoid include Doritos, Fritos, Takis, tortilla chips, crunchy Cheetos, and other similarly crunchy chips.
Sticky Or Hard Candies
Hard candies are both too hard and sticky for an approved food for braces.
The biting force that it takes to crush a hard candy with your teeth is not compatible with braces, wires and orthodontic appliances. If hard candy gets positioned on top of a bracket and you bite down, you are sure to break a brace off.
Also, candies are high sugar content items. Even if you suck the candy instead of chewing it, you are flooding your mouth with sugar. This sugar is food for acid-producing bacteria that cause cavities. This can ruin your beautiful straight teeth. Enamel decalcification is after your braces come off, is unhealthy and unattractive.
For this reason, hard candies are our number 3 food that should be avoided with braces.
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Hard Fruits And Vegetables
Biting into an apple or munching on carrot sticks are healthy habits, but they can pop brackets off or bend wires. Some common culprits include:
- Pears, peaches, and apples, when eaten whole
- Carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli, when eaten raw in large pieces
- Corn on the cob
Cooked fruits and vegetables are the easiest way to get these essential foods into your diet while you are wearing braces. Corn can be cut off the cob and safely eaten on a plate, where it tastes just as good!
Some Helpful Tips For A Fun
When you get home from the parties you attend or when youre done trick or treating, take the time to sort through your candies and treats to remove all the goodies you cant eat when wearing braces. You can then trade with siblings or friends for treats you can safely eat so you dont miss out.
Wed also like to remind all of you wearing braces of how important it is to do a good job with your oral hygieneand especially after youve eaten treats high in sugar. So be sure to brush and floss well every day and to carefully work your toothbrush into all the nooks and crannies in and around your appliances!
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Foods You Can Eat With Braces:
- Dairy soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake