The Complete Food Guide for Braces

Braces are a big responsibility, especially when you first get them put on. One of the first things you will have to learn is how to modify your eating habits. You have to be careful of the foods you eat because some of them can damage or get stuck in your braces. We’ve put together a complete guide for you on foods to avoid so that you can keep your smile healthy. 

A girl with braces holds up a watermelon slice

Foods You Should Avoid Eating with Braces 

Food choices can have a big impact on the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your braces. There’s no reason to change your diet during orthodontic treatment, but there are some foods that you’ll want to avoid. 

Hard and crunchy foods should be avoided throughout your treatment plan. It’s best to avoid hard food so that you don’t damage the wires or brackets of your braces. These can put a strain on your braces and unnecessary pressure on your teeth. Hard foods like apples and carrots should be avoided, but you can cut these into smaller pieces to make them safe for your braces. Corn on the cob also puts your braces at risk, but you can cut the corn off of the cob so you can still enjoy your summer cookout favorite.

Popcorn should be especially avoided because not only are the kernels hard and can damage your teeth but the pieces can get caught and lodged in your braces, leading to an increased risk of cavities that can lead to tooth decay. 

Chewy foods such as licorice and taffy can get stuck in the braces, making it difficult to clean them out and damaging your teeth. This can lead to cavities and can affect the long-term health of your teeth because the enamel can be compromised. 

Sticky foods like gum and taffy are also off-limits because pieces can get stuck in or on your braces. When this happens, it can cause a bracket to break off. 

It is also important that you pay attention to how many sugary drinks you drink during orthodontic treatment because they can lead to tooth decay and cavities. You should brush your teeth after drinking soda or juice to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent plaque from building up on your teeth. 

Braces-Friendly Foods During Braces Treatment 

Braces are a great way to straighten your teeth and achieve the smile you want. Although it’s important to limit difficult foods during treatment, many people think they have to give up their favorite foods altogether. Not so! 

When you first get braces you’ll want to choose soft foods that will be gentle on your teeth as they adjust. This process can take between 1-3 weeks. 

Patients with braces or other orthodontic appliances should eat plenty of soft fruits and vegetables such as applesauce, bananas, and cooked carrots. Skip the raw carrots for now. Other meal options include soft cheeses and yogurt. For snacks, try eating pudding, gelatin (like Jell-O), pasta or bread without crusts, pancakes, waffles, donuts without nuts and steamed rice, milkshakes, and ice cream. 

You can cut your food up into smaller pieces to make them safer for your braces. They are easier to chew, and won’t place too much stress on the teeth. 

If you have questions about your treatment plan or the foods that you can consume, call one of our orthodontic offices to chat with a member of our team.