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What Can I Eat with Braces?

Dec 09, 2022

Braces are one of the most common treatments for misaligned teeth, including overbite, underbite, gaps, crowding, and more. While this orthodontic treatment does wonders to improve your smile, it’s important to note that you will have to make several adjustments.

For the first few days, you will want to stick to a soft food diet while you get adjusted to having the extra pressure on your teeth. However, the biggest adjustment will be having to give up some of your favorite foods because the risk of damage to the appliance is too high.

What to Eat the First Few Days

For the first few days to a week, you’ll want to avoid certain foods because they can cause pain and discomfort and may damage your braces. We recommend a soft food diet for up to a week while you get used to the extra pressure and foreign objects on your teeth.

The following are good options for the first week:

  • Oatmeal/rice cereal
  • Smoothies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft boiled veggies
  • Yogurt
  • Jell-o
  • Pudding
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soup

Once the soreness goes away, you can start to expand your diet as you feel able- but you will still want to avoid sticky or hard foods.
What Can I Eat with Braces

What Foods Can be Eaten with Braces?

If you have braces, you should eat foods that are easy to chew. Foods that are chewy or hard should be cut into small pieces and placed in the back of your mouth to avoid putting pressure on brackets and wires.

While it’s true that this rule limits what you can eat, the good news is that you still have plenty of options. Research has proven that it is possible to get the vitamins and minerals you need from a soft food diet, so you can stay healthy throughout your treatment with braces.

You can consume the following foods during your treatment:

  • Boiled/steamed veggies
  • Soft breads/baked goods
  • Boneless cooked seafood
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Pasta/sauce
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Eggs
  • Hot cereals
  • Soft cheeses
  • Rice
  • Jell-o
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Cool treats
  • Soup
  • Peanut butter
  • Soft fruits
  • Corn (not on the cob)
  • Meat cut off the bone
  • Crunchy fruits or veggies cut into small bites

As you get used to your braces, you’ll understand what is safe and what is not. If you have any questions or concerns about your diet, feel free to ask your orthodontist for more information.

Foods to Avoid when You Have Braces

There are certain foods that can potentially damage your brackets and wires, so they must be avoided while you have braces. This includes:

  • Hard/sticky/gummy candies
  • Chewing gum
  • Meat on bone
  • Corn on the cob
  • Whole raw veggies or hard fruits
  • Nuts
  • Hard bread crusts
  • Hard cookies
  • Pretzels
  • Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Whole pickles

These foods put pressure on the brackets, potentially breaking them. In addition, foods may get stuck under the wire, which can cause bacteria to grow on your teeth.

Of course, it is important to note that you don’t have to completely avoid all of the foods on this list. For example, while you should avoid corn on the cob, you can still enjoy corn by cutting it off the cob. Also, you can enjoy meat, you need to cut it off the bone, and into smaller pieces that can be chewed with your back teeth. However, hard/sticky/gummy candies, popcorn, and nuts should be avoided because of the damage they can cause.

Why Follow Dietary Restrictions?

When you have braces, it is critical to follow the dietary restrictions recommended by your orthodontist. The brackets are sturdy, but can still break, loosen, or fall off and eating restricted foods can cause this to happen. In fact, food is one of the most common reasons that patients break their braces.

In addition, certain foods can get stuck between brackets and under the wires, making it hard to clean your teeth. Over time, this can cause bacteria and plaque to build up which can ultimately lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Sometimes, even if you follow the restrictions, your braces may still break. Your brackets may loosen or fall off, wires may break, rubber bands may fall off, and more. If this happens to you, don’t be embarrassed, and don’t panic. There are solutions. Simply schedule a visit to the orthodontist and we can fix them quickly.

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