If you are going to wear braces, then it is important to learn about the foods that you can eat with braces to help keep them in the best condition. At first, eating with braces can feel strange, and in some cases painful. Your orthodontist will have a list of certain foods he will tell you to avoid, but what can you eat?
Consume a Soft Diet Right After Getting Braces
When you first get your braces placed, make sure to consume soft meals that include soup or mashed potatoes. Chewing meat can be particularly difficult, but you can try slicing chicken, beef or pork into small pieces before cooking these ingredients in stir-fries or casseroles. It is important to eat several servings of vegetables and fruit each day, but you can learn how to make smoothies with yogurt, milk and strawberries or green drinks with lettuce, ginger and tea.
Avoid These Foods While Wearing Braces
There are several foods you should avoid while wearing braces. For example, a food that you can’t eat with braces is popcorn because it’s hard kernels can break wires or lead to loose brackets. Here is a list of additional foods to avoid chewing while wearing braces:
- Pretzels – all shapes and sizes
- Corn chips – any brand
- Gum – bubblegum or sticks
- Sticky candy – toffees or caramels
- Hard candy – any type
- Hard taco shells – any brand
- Seeds – sunflower seeds
- Hard breads – such as bagels
- Corn on the cob – cut it off the cob
- Peanuts – including peanut butter
- Candy bars – sticky and hard types
- Potato chips – any type
To prevent cavities, it’s a good idea to avoid beverages and foods that contain sugar and tends to stick to the surfaces of your teeth or to the brackets and wires on your braces. If you eat hard or sticky foods, it is possible to damage the brackets or wires of your braces. When a bracket loosens or a wire breaks, it is essential to visit an orthodontist for a repair. Patients who break their brace’s wires and brackets frequently are going to need to wear the devices longer because their treatment plan is disrupted.
You can Eat These Foods
Despite having a long list of prohibited foods, there are several foods that you can eat with braces. These foods include:
- Soft meats – lunch meat or shredded chicken
- Dairy products – cottage cheese and cheese cubes
- Vegetables – steamed or grated into small pieces
- Fruit – soft fruit such as blueberries or bananas
- Rice – steamed or boiled
Eating with braces gets easier as your mouth adjusts to the devices. It may be tempting as eating gets easier to still eat foods that you shouldn’t, but sticking to a softer diet will allow your teeth to move faster, allowing you to get your braces removed faster.