Foods to Eat with Braces

In this post, we’ll discuss foods to eat with braces. Unlike Invisalign, braces always remain attached to the teeth until your smile is perfected. Thus, you have to be mindful of what foods you consume. 

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to figure out using some simple rules. And remember, when treatment is over, you can indulge again. Consider it a reward for a job well-done as you show off a fantastic smile for life.

Avoid These Foods When Wearing Braces

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) suggests staying away from foods that fall into these categories:

  • Hard
  • Sticky
  • Chewy
  • Crunchy

Avoiding these categories of food is essential with bracers. And, even if you wear Invisalign, it’s a good idea to limit foods like this. If you do eat foods like these, it’s always necessary to carefully rinse, brush, and floss after snacks or meals.

Some foods, like apples or carrots, can be enjoyed if cut up into small pieces. However, chomping into a whole apple isn’t a great idea. Wires and brackets can be pulled loose or contorted, requiring an emergency appointment.

Limit Sugary Beverages

 As you might expect, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends avoiding sugary drinks with braces or Invisalign. Even diet soda can promote cavities, and sugary sodas are not a great idea for anybody. Also, limit the number of sports or energy drinks and sugary, acidic fruit juice. 

With aligners, you have to watch out for hot liquids like coffee. Otherwise, the plastic could warp or stain. However, you can enjoy these beverages when the aligners are out. Staining is also a potential problem with braces, as we’ll look at next.

Avoid Foods That Stain

Some foods can stain the brackets of braces, particularly the clear ceramic variety. Thus, it’s a good idea to avoid them if possible. Otherwise, clean and rinse well after partaking.

Examples of Foods that Stain:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red Wine
  • Beets
  • Curry
  • Currants
  • Mustard
  • Tomatoes
  • Grape Juice
  • Berries
  • Soy sauce
  • Grape juice
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Some food coloring

Some Foods To Avoid Temporarily

Right after getting braces, your mouth will be more sensitive. Thus, there is a period of adjustment when it may be better to avoid some foods for a time. After this period, you can work them back into your diet.

Avoid these foods until you adjust to braces: 

  • Any pieces of bread that aren’t soft or have thick crusts
  • Citrus and spicy foods can be irritating
  • Tough or thick cuts of meat
  • Ice cream if your teeth are sensitive to cold

On the last item, ice cream can help some people adjust, but others are sensitive to the cold temporarily.

Foods That Are Out with Braces

In addition to what we’ve looked at so far, these foods are best to avoid during treatment. Then, when your braces come off, you can enjoy them again.

  • Nuts
  • Ice
  • Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Hard tacos
  • Chewing gum
  • Hard crackers
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples, carrots, hard veggies (unless sliced into small pieces)
  • Tough bread like bagels, pretzels, or pizza crust

As noted, these fall into the hard, sticky, chewy, crunchy categories.

These Foods Are In with Braces

Now for some delicious options to enjoy. As you can see, they’re softer and won’t stick to braces and wires.

  • Soups
  • Seafood
  • Soft fruit
  • Pancakes
  • Muffins
  • Puddings
  • Soft bread
  • Soft cheese
  • Cooked rice
  • Milkshakes
  • Cooked pasta
  • Oats and grains
  • Soft wraps and tortillas
  • Cooked and soft veggies
  • Soft desserts and cakes

With so many options, there are plenty of delicious recipes to enjoy. Thus, you can enjoy a nutritious, varied diet and treat yourself on occasion. To see which kinds of sweets are safer with braces, see our recent blog here.

By sticking to foods like these, your treatment will be smoother, and the braces will come off faster. Then you can once again reward yourself as you show off your new perfect smile.

We hope this information about foods to eat with braces has been helpful. Glaser Orthodontics is proud to offer world-class service to the Jefferson Valley, Westchester, and Putnam Counties, NY. 

Call us anytime at 914.739.6500 with any questions about braces, Invisalign, or other orthodontic services.

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