Foods you Can and Can’t Eat With Braces

Are you wondering what kinds of food you can eat while you’re in braces? Can you still have pizza? What about gum? Are you only going to be eating soft foods for the next two years? What do you avoid completely with braces? These are all great questions to think about if considering braces in the future!

The good news is you do not have to stick to a completely soft diet for the next two years. There are plenty of good foods you can still have while you have your braces on. Awareness of “good” and “bad” food is very important so you are able to take care of your braces throughout treatment and have the best results.

Why certain foods need to be avoided with braces
Your braces may have brackets, bands, and arch wires that can all be damaged by certain foods. Avoiding very hard or sticky food is a big priority. Along with avoiding certain foods, having proper hygiene is essential to making sure cavities do not form around the braces. If the teeth and braces are not properly cleaned of food debris, tartar and plaque can accumulate which can cause white spots on the surfaces of the teeth.

Foods you can’t eat with braces
Crunchy and sticky foods such as nuts and bubble gum, hard candies like lollipops and candy canes can loosen brackets and wires which may cause delays in treatment. Foods to avoid with your braces are:

  • Nuts
  • Potato chips
  • Popcorn
  • Crunchy veggies
  • Hard candies (such as jolly ranchers or lollipops)
  • Gum (Sugar-free gum is okay)
  • Sticky candies (like laffy-taffy or gummy bears)
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples
  • Beef jerky
  • Pizza crust

It’s not just hard foods can break the appliances in your mouth! Other items and habits to avoid that could damage brackets are:

  • Pen chewing
  • Pencil chewing
  • Nail biting
  • Toothpicks
  • Straw Chewing

It is important to not chew on any hard objects!

Foods that you can eat with braces
Now that you know what you can’t have with braces, we can talk about all the good things that you can have! Though there are many things that must be avoided with braces, there are many yummy things that can still be enjoyed. For example, you can still enjoy:

  • Pastas
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Meats with no bones
  • Soft veggies
  • Fruits
  • Soups
  • Dairy products
  • Soft breads and sandwiches
  • Casseroles
  • Pizza (without the crust)

Even with braces, we can still enjoy the good things in life! At every visit, Dr. Green and your dental assistant will evaluate the braces for damage to brackets or plaque build-up. All of our patients receive a short class after braces are placed to review how to best care for your appliances to ensure they stay in top shape throughout treatment. Remembering the “do’s” and “don’ts” can have a big impact on your treatment outcome and will help to get the beautiful smile you have always dreamed of!

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