Getting used to life with braces means learning what you can and can’t eat. When you get braces, you’ll need to change some of your eating habits. Eating certain foods, such as nuts or hard candy, can damage or break your braces. Biting into hard foods can pull away the brackets and wires, which can be painful and prolong the process of getting that beautiful smile! Some foods can get stuck and be extremely difficult to remove from braces. The most important thing to remember is to avoid foods that are hard, chewy, crunchy, sticky or gooey!
Here are some specific foods to avoid with braces:
- Very sticky or chunky peanut butter
- Hard or sticky candy (such as caramel, taffy or gummy bears)
- Corn chips
- Hard taco shells
You should also use caution when eating foods such as:
- Raw veggies like carrots (if you want to eat these, you can cut them into small pieces – just be sure to chew with your back teeth and not your front)
- Corn on the cob (if you can’t resist, cut the corn off the cob before eating)
- Harder breads such as rolls or French bread and chewy breads such as bagels (tear or cut into small pieces)
- Pizza crust
- Firmer fruits like apples (cut into small pieces)
- Chips (eat carefully, one at a time)
- Sub sandwiches
When you first get your braces, you may want to get used to eating with them and stick to a diet of very soft foods that require little chewing. Ice cream may be the first thing that comes to mind – but there are many other delicious (and healthy) options to eat in those first few days as well as the entire treatment period. Here are a few of our favorite healthy & delicious braces-friendly foods to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner:
- Smoothies – they’re yummy and there are so many different ways to make them, you’ll never get bored (Try this simple green smoothie recipe: http://caitsplate.com/4-ingredient-green-smoothie/).
- Scrambled eggs (or however you like your eggs) – easy to eat and full of protein.
- A banana is filling and nutritious.
- Applesauce will be easy to eat if you want to minimize your chewing.
- Chili (Try this “Best Chili on Earth” recipe and you may just forget about the foods you’re missing out on: Pip and Ebby Chili HERE
- Mashed potatoes and meatloaf make a perfect soft foods meal.
- Also try ravioli or other noodle dishes.
Here are some other great foods to eat with braces:
- Dairy – yogurt, pudding, soft cheeses
- Steamed veggies
- Soft fruits – melons, grapes, oranges, kiwi
- Non-tough meats – lunch meats, meatballs, soft-cooked meats like chicken
- Seafood – tuna, salmon, fish without bones, etc.
- Light crackers or cookies
- Peanut butter (not super sticky or crunchy) and jelly
- Spaghetti, macaroni & cheese and other noodle dishes
- Soft-cooked rice
- Soft-cooked beans
- Soft breads, tortillas
While wearing braces, you should maintain a healthy, nutritious diet – it’s important for not only your teeth but your overall health! And remember, your teeth are more susceptible to cavities when you have braces. So avoid eating a lot of sugary foods or drinks (especially soda!). If you have any questions about foods to avoid with braces, be sure to check with your doctor!