What Can I Eat With Braces?

There are so many things to consider when you first get braces. To start, you need to come to all of your appointments, keep your teeth sparkling clean, make sure you’re always wearing your rubber bands (if applicable), and more. While our team at Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics will always be just a call away to assist you, there are a few things you will need to take care of at home, such as modifying your diet.

Eating a braces-friendly diet is crucial to orthodontic care. Our clear and metal braces are very durable; however, that doesn’t mean they can’t break. Eating foods that support your teeth and braces will keep you from dealing with painful outcomes like broken wires or brackets. Simply swapping out a few things can make your experience more pleasant and increase your chances of successful treatment!

How Do I Eat When I First Get My Braces?

If you have ever had orthodontic care, you probably know it can sometimes make your mouth a little tender. For a few days after we have initially glued your braces to your teeth and after periodic wire adjustments, you will likely feel soreness. You can manage this with aspirin, applying ice compresses, and eating soft and supportive foods.

You will want to choose sustenance that requires little to no chewing—like soups, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soft cheeses, yogurt, cooked veggies, et cetera. Eat slowly and gently chew until you feel your soreness decrease. Because your teeth and gums are likely more sensitive, you should also avoid ice cream or milkshakes, spicy or hot foods, citrus fruits, and more until your mouth feels better. 

What Foods To Avoid Throughout Your Treatment

The first thing to remember when considering your food limitations with braces is that it won’t last forever. Changing your diet for the safety of your smile is only short-term, and you can look forward to all your favorite foods and snacks again soon! 

You should say, “No, thank you,” to hard and sticky food. Hard food can break brackets and wires when you bite down on them, and sticky foods pull out your braces or cause bacteria growth when they get stuck in inconvenient places.

Examples include (but are not limited to) popcorn, chips, taffy, caramel, gum, hard taco shells, cookies, fried food, nuts, and hard fruits and veggies.

Bonus: Clear braces brackets are unlikely to stain, but rinse your mouth with water after meals to remove any residue to prevent discoloration to the elastics that hold your wire in place.

The Best Foods For a Healthy Smile

All this said, there are still so many delicious and healthy foods that you can enjoy during treatment! There’s no need to spend too much time mulling over what you’re missing; instead, work on getting creative with the delicious foods you can eat! If you take the time to test out new recipes and snack ideas, you’ll see how tasty eating with braces can be. 

Here is a short list of foods that we recommend:

Dairy is a good source of calcium and other vitamins that are great for teeth. Think yogurt, milk, pudding, soft cheeses, ice cream, and more. Be sure to eat plenty of soft bread and grains like oatmeal, pancakes, muffins (without nuts), mac and cheese, pasta, and rice. You can also eat soft, boneless meat, like shredded chicken, lunch meat, eggs, seafood, meatloaf, and meatballs. 

Don’t forget your fruits and veggies, with berries, bananas, applesauce, grapes, watermelon, cooked beans, steamed veggies, mashed potatoes, and so much more! Casseroles, pb&js, soup, and jello are other tasty foods on your can-eat list. 

If you approach the braces-friendly diet with an open mind, you’ll likely be amazed by what delicious and nutritious options you can find. 

How to Cook For Braces

As a general rule, when thinking about cooking for braces, you want to keep things well-cooked and soft, avoiding raw fruits and veggies, chewy bread and grains, or tough cuts of meat. A crockpot or instant pot can be your best friend during this period, allowing you to cook foods until they are soft with greater speed and ease. 

Remember to cut all food into bite-sized and easy to chew with your molars (avoid biting off things with your front teeth), never eat meat off the bone, and cut the crust off your pizza!

Think About Your Drinks

For the most part, drinks can be enjoyed throughout your treatment without much issue! The only thing to pay attention to is how much sugar you consume. Consuming sugary beverages can encourage the growth of plaque and tooth decay in hard-to-reach places of your braces, leading to decalcification and accidental tooth decay!

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

While limiting sugar during treatment is a good idea, that doesn’t mean you have to go without it entirely! Plenty of desserts and treats can be enjoyed safely in moderation. Chocolate, peanut butter cups, soft cookies, and cake are a few that come to mind. Be mindful to avoid caramel and nuts!

What Can I Eat With Braces?

Let Our Team Help You Thrive! 

When you visit Dr. Hamer and Dr. Glassick at Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics, you’ll have the support of our team to ensure you have a successful, pleasant orthodontic experience! To determine if you qualify for braces or another treatment like Invisalign retainers, call one of our Charlottesville or Crozet offices to set up a free consultation appointment!
We take pride in giving our community stunning results with excellent customer service. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions, and follow us on Instagram to stay up-to-date on our latest news!