Having braces doesn’t mean you will be forced to live on pureed, bland foods for your entire eating with braces career.
A braces diet can be tricky. So it is important to know what foods you can and can not eat when eating with braces. Preventing damage and tooth decay should be a big concern but also keeping your food choices healthy and enjoyable is important too!
On your journey to a beautiful smile, you’ll need to learn which foods to avoid with braces. Some of these foods may seem obvious, but others will surprise you!
Foods to Avoid With Braces
Let’s just get out of the way the foods that are likely to cause problems when eating with braces.
Questions such as can you eat peanut butter with braces or can you eat steak with braces are a few that need to be addressed.
Sticky and Sugary Foods
Sticky foods such as taffy, bubble gum, caramels, gummy bears and licorice, just to name a few, are not only generally bad for your teeth but can also be damaging to your braces.
These types of sticky foods can get caught in your braces and make cleaning a nightmare! Some other sticky foods to avoid include peanut butter, and maple syrup.
Hard candy is a big no-no. Obviously the sugar is bad for your teeth but the actual action of chewing hard candy can possibly ruin your brackets or wires.
Crunchy and Chewy Foods
Crunchy foods are best to avoid with braces because they can bend the wires, loosen bands, and even knock off brackets. Some crunchy foods to avoid are corn chips, pretzels, nuts, popcorn and crunchy veggies such as raw carrots and broccoli.
Not only can crunchy foods obstruct your braces but food can get stuck in your braces causing discomfort and possible tooth decay.
Chewy foods such as steak, beef jerky, pizza crust, and bagels are a few options that will be difficult to eat with braces. But if you are willing to cut them into small pieces you may be able to pull it off.
Food that Requires Your Front Teeth and Non-Food Items
Biting teeth first into that corn on the cob may not be the best decision when on a braces diet. First, your teeth will be an unsightly scene due to all of the corn wedged between your wires and brackets and secondly, you will have to run to the bathroom to immediately floss and brush your teeth.
Other foods that require front teeth are ribs, chicken wings, and whole fruits such as apples and pears.
Non-food items such as pencils and pens, paper clips, ice cubes, and your fingernails should definitely not be in your mouth. Even without braces. Chewing on these items will cause damage to your braces and also your teeth.
What You Can Eat With Braces
Now for the exciting part. What foods are available to eat with braces!
There are many foods that are good to eat on a braces diet. You don’t have to limit your diet to just popsicles and smoothies.
Soft Fruits and Vegetables
You generally want foods that are softer in texture. Fruits such as grapefruits, nectarines, kiwi and tangerines are a few examples of what you can eat with braces.
Especially when your teeth are tender from a recent tightening choosing fruit such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are always good options.
Vegetables mashed up such as mashed potatoes or steamed vegetables can be part of your braces diet.
Dairy Products and Soft Meats
A good protein alternative to tough meat is yogurt and cheese. Not only does dairy provide protein but is also rich in calcium which creates strong bones and teeth.
Dairy products are a great choice for a braces diet because they are soft and require very little chewing. if you are lactose-intolerant food such as soy-based dairy products are a great alternative.
Soft meats such as tender chicken, meatloaf, seafood, turkey, and lunch meat are great choices. Try and select tender cuts of meat and cut them into bite-sized pieces to make chewing easier. If you are vegetarian tofu is a great soft meat replacement.
Soft Grains, Bread and Eggs
When eating with braces soft grains such as cooked pasta and cooked rice are good options. Grains provide us with fiber and iron and give great nutritional value.
Soft bread such as tortillas, biscuits, muffins, and pancakes are generally easy food for eating with braces because they are very soft and can easily be chewed.
To make up for eating fewer meat eggs are another great source of protein. They help start your day with a full breakfast and require little to no effort to eat.
The one major advantage of braces is that you can eat dessert completely guilt-free! On the days after just getting new braces or the days following a recent tightening, you are free to eat as much pudding, milkshakes, ice cream and popsicles that your heart desires.
The Long Term Advantages of Braces
There are many advantages to braces that will make watching your diet completely worth it.
Braces not only help with a pretty smile but they can benefit your health as well.
Straightening misaligned teeth contributes to healthy gums and teeth. Straighter teeth are easier to brush and floss which will prevent tooth decay, gum diseases, and cavities.
Braces also have emotional benefits. They can help boost your confidence. When you have crooked teeth you might not feel as comfortable showing off your smile. But when your teeth are nice and straight you will be more at ease talking and showing off your teeth.
There are many different options of braces available to you. Invisalign® clear aligners and Invisalign® clear braces are some great options to look into.
Eating With Braces Doesn’t Have to Be a Terrible Experience
Sure, there are some foods to avoid with braces such as sticky, hard, and chewy foods but there are so many other options you can choose from!
Dairy, pasta, eggs, smoothies, soft fruit and vegetables and even icecream are some awesome options. Having a braces diet doesn’t exclude you from enjoying some really tasty meals.
Are you getting ready to look into braces? Need a good orthodontist to give you some great options? Contact Willow Creek Orthodontics today to book an appointment at the location nearest you!