What Can I Eat With Braces?

The question of what you should eat with braces is a classic! As long as braces have been around (nearly 100 years!), people have wanted to reduce their risk of breaking them and increase their overall oral and physical health with what they eat. Thankfully, nowadays, we have an easy approach that won’t be difficult to adjust to! 

When you come to see Dr. Cserna at Pioneer Orthodontics, you will have the full support of her team throughout your treatment. We are experts at supporting our patients through their dietary changes, as well as all the changes that come from getting braces! We want to see our patients have the bright and healthy smiles that they deserve, and following the right eating habits is a huge part of your success. 

Keep reading to learn more about what to eat and not to eat with braces!

When Braces First Come On

When your braces first come on, it’s normal to expect some tenderness and pain. For the first few days, your teeth and mouth are adjusting to your new device that is putting pressure on your teeth to slowly shift them. While we understand that this is a bummer, it’s part of the process that everyone goes through, and it won’t last forever. The best plan of attack for this stage is to have some items on hand (like a cold compress and aspirin!) and plenty of soft foods. 

For the first few days, plan to prioritize soft and nourishing foods. We recommend things like 

  • Scrambled eggs 
  • Oatmeal
  • Soup
  • Jello
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • And so many more! Get creative! 

Do be careful about extreme temperatures and spicy items that can irritate your already sensitive teeth, so plan to avoid milkshakes and ramen for a few days. Skip acidic foods like citrus fruits and chewy things like pizza crusts and bagels need to be cut up into small bite-sized pieces to avoid chewing with your front teeth.

The Best Foods For a Healthy Smile

When we talk about what foods you should prioritize when have braces, there really are so many. Here are just a few that we like to recommend for our patients:

  • Milk
  • Soft cheeses
  • Pudding
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Yogurt
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Oatmeal
  • Muffins (without nuts!)
  • Pancakes and waffles
  • Lunch meat
  • Shredded chicken
  • Fish
  • Meatloaf
  • Eggs
  • Applesauce
  • Grapes
  • Watermelon
  • Steamed veggies
  • Cooked beans
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Casseroles
  • Soups
  • Grilled cheese
  • PB&J

This is just a list to get you inspired; trust us, there are so many more delicious and nutritious options to have when you are wearing braces. Reach out to our staff if you have any questions or concerns along the way, and we can guide you!

What Foods To Avoid During Treatment

Unfortunately, it is important to avoid certain types of food while your braces are on. The major groups you should avoid are crunchy and hard foods, sticky and chewy foods, and overly sugary or acidic foods. Here are some examples:

  • Chips
  • Hard and soft pretzels 
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Crunchy fruits and veggies
  • Pizza crusts
  • Ice
  • Gum
  • Hard and sticky candy

When it comes to crunchy fruits and veggies, one option is to cook or steam them until they are soft enough to chew easily, like mashed potatoes or applesauce. With chewy bread or cuts of meat, cut them up into super small pieces so you can chew them with your molars and avoid biting them off with your front teeth. 

Think About Your Drinks

For the most part, drinks are on the menu while your braces are on, just be cautious of how much sugar you are drinking! Not only is too much sugar not great for your body, but it can also seriously impact your teeth, especially while braces are on. Sugar encourages the growth of plaque that erodes the enamel on your teeth if not removed carefully. 

It’s much harder to get your teeth extra clean while your braces are on, so we recommend cutting back on sugary or acidic drinks like energy drinks. Also, plan to be super diligent about your oral hygiene routine. Floss at least once every day, and brush your teeth morning and evening!

Don’t Forget the Sweets!

Have a bit of a sweet tooth? As long as you follow the advice above about cutting back and staying clean, you can enjoy sweets throughout your treatment! Things like:

  • Ice cream, milkshakes, and slushies
  • Some candy bars like peanut butter cups, 3 Musketeers, and KitKats (no nuts or caramel!)
  • Chocolate
  • Soft baked goods like cookies, brownies, and cake!

What Can I Eat With Braces

Let Our Team Help You Thrive! 

At the end of the day, there’s an adjustment to wearing braces, but nothing that you can’t handle with the help of our team! Let us work together to craft the healthy, beautiful teeth you have been dreaming of for you and your family! Schedule a free consultation appointment with Dr. Cserna at one of our locations in Lincoln or York. We hope to see you soon!