Food and Braces

While it is true that care is needed with eating when wearing braces, most of the times, it involves simple modifications to one’s eating habits.

Choose soft foods. Soft, non-chewy foods are the best for braces. Not only are they less likely to damage your braces, they are also less likely to cause pain on sensitive teeth. Some foods like hard vegetables can still be eaten, but they should be steamed until they are soft and easy to bite. Some braces friendly foods that won’t upset sensitive teeth include:

  1. soft cheeses
  2. yogurt
  3. soup
  4. non-tough, soft-cooked meats without any bones (chicken, turkey, meatballs, deli slices, etc.)
  5. soft seafood dishes without any bones (fish, crab cakes)
  6. pasta/noodles
  7. boiled or mashed potatoes
  8. soft, cooked rice
  9. eggs
  10. soft-cooked beans
  11. soft breads without a hard crust
  12. soft-shell tortillas
  13. pancakes
  14. soft baked goods, such as biscuits and muffins
  15. pudding
  16. bananas
  17. smoothies, ice cream, or milkshakes

Avoid hard foods. Hard foods can crack your braces, and may cause mild to severe pain in the days following an installation or adjustment of your braces. Avoid anything that is hard or crunchy, especially following an orthodontic appointment. Common hard foods to avoid include, but are not limited to:

  1. nuts of any kind
  2. granola
  3. popcorn
  4. ice
  5. hard bread crusts
  6. pizza crust
  7. chips (potato and tortilla)
  8. hard shell tacos
  9. raw carrots (unless cut into very small pieces)
  10. apples (unless cut into small slices)
  11. corn (unless it’s just kernels – avoid eating corn on the cob)

Cut out sticky foods. Sticky foods are bad for your braces, and may cause pain if you try to chew them with new braces. Candy and gum are the worst sticky foods, and should be avoided with braces. Some sticky foods to avoid include:

  1. Chewing gum
  2. Licorice
  3. Toffee
  4. Caramel
  5. Starburst
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