In this post, we’re looking at foods to eat with braces. Unlike Invisalign, braces remain attached to your teeth throughout treatment. Thus, you have to be a bit more careful about what you eat. Otherwise, some sticky, hard foods can damage brackets and wires. 

Also, some foods are always more likely to get stuck between your teeth. Notably, it’s a little harder to clean your teeth and all the crevices where food can remain while you’re wearing braces. 

However, by choosing foods to eat with braces wisely, you can avoid emergencies for broken wires. Plus, you can maintain oral health and ensure treatment goes faster and more comfortably.

Braces are Worth It!

At first, it may be challenging to consider what foods to avoid. However, remember that treatment will be over before you know it. Then, you can reward yourself with any foods you avoided temporarily. Always, the rewards are well worth it. 

Imagine: A perfect smile to be proud of for life, improved health, confidence, and more smiles than ever. Yes, it’s worth it!

The Easy Way to Know What to Avoid

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to remember what foods to avoid with braces. They fall into the following categories:

  • Hard
  • Sticky
  • Chewy
  • Crunchy

Sometimes, foods can fall into these categories but are ok if you cook them or cut them into small pieces. For example, hard apples or carrots can be cooked, so they’re softer. Or, you can dice them up, so they’re less likely to damage braces.

However, many foods in these categories can damage braces. Thus, it’s best to avoid them if you’re in doubt. By doing so, you can avoid the hassle and discomfort of an emergency appointment.

foods to avoid with braces

Softer Nutritious Foods to Enjoy with Braces

Below is a short list of foods that you can enjoy all you want with braces. As you can see, they’re all soft and easier to chew. Plus, they won’t easily get stuck between teeth and brackets.

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

As you can see, these options are mostly nutritious, delicious, and easy to chew. Plus, you can satisfy your sweet tooth for an occasional reward. Soft cakes without toppings are fine on occasion, and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends soft treats for the holidays like Halloween and Christmas. At Mill Creek Orthodontics, we love to provide Dippin Dots for a delicious reward after every appointment. 

As always, rinsing, cleaning, and flossing are recommended after you have any snack or meal. 

For additional suggestions, there are lots of great recipes online for those who wear braces. Mill Creek Orthodontics also regularly shares ideas on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Try to Avoid Sugary Drinks 

Generally, it’s smart to avoid sugary sodas and acidic drinks anytime. However, it becomes more important while you’re wearing braces or Invisalign. So, try to avoid sodas, including diet sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, or fruit juices.

Also, there are a few foods that tend to stain and can discolor clear braces over time. So, let’s take a closer look.

Avoid Foods That Stain

Most of the time, people choose clear braces because they’re hard to see. However, staining foods could turn them a shade of yellow or another color. Fortunately, the clear ceramic is hard to stain, but over time, it can discolor.

Examples of Foods that Can Stain:

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

At first, it might seem hard to avoid or limit these foods. However, by doing so, you can maintain the discreet appearance of your clear braces. Similarly, they are best avoided while Invisalign aligners are in your mouth.

Notably, hot liquids are more of a problem with Invisalign since the thin SmartTrack material could warp. Fortunately, you can take them out to eat, drink, brush, and floss.

Foods to Avoid Temporarily

When you get your braces, your mouth will be more sensitive for a time as you adjust. During this time, some foods can be more irritating than usual. 

Here are some examples:

  • Tough or crusty bread
  • Citrus and spicy foods can be irritating
  • Cuts of meat that are harder to chew
  • Ice cream if your teeth are sensitive to cold

As noted, ice cream may be great for some people as they adjust. The cold can help reduce swelling. For others, they may be cold-sensitive for a while. 

Foods to Avoid with Braces

Below, we list a few examples of foods that can damage braces. Therefore, it’s best to avoid them. Remember, if they are hard, sticky, chewy, crunchy, or staining –avoid them if you can.

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

We hope this list of foods to eat with braces (and foods to avoid) has been helpful. Remember, you’ll soon be able to enjoy all your favorites again. However, it’s always a good idea to limit sugary, sticky items to maintain strong, healthy teeth.

Have any questions? Call us anytime at 434-977-9473. You may also contact us online here.

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