Foods To Eat And Not To Eat With Braces

If you have been recently fitted with braces and this happens to be your first time, then your orthodontist would most probably draw up a list of do’s and don’ts for you. And one of the more important points he/she would ask you to strictly adhere to is the food that you eat.
While the orthodontist would ask you to eat certain foods to increase bone density and improve oral health, there would be certain foods he/she would ask you to stay away from at all costs.

These foods could potentially damage the braces by pulling the cement loose, bending the wires/brackets or breaking them completely. So if you are fitted with braces, which foods should you eat and which foods should you ignore? Read on to find more!

What to Eat and What not to Eat with Braces

Fruits

You don’t need to forgo on your daily ration of fruits just because you have braces. All you need to do is opt for varieties that would not pose a threat to your braces.

What Not To Eat

Stay away from fruits that are hard to bite into. The brackets on the teeth would create difficulties when it comes to eating hard fruits or taking large bites. So refrain from eating raw apples, pears, peaches or other similar varieties of fruits. Refrain from taking large bites as well. Chances are when you bite into the fruit it could break down into smaller pieces and get lodged in between the wires and brackets.

Pears

What To Eat

Accordingly, you can opt for soft fruits that are easy to bite into. These include mashed bananas, baked apples, applesauce and berries etc. You can also opt for fruit juices or smoothies to get your daily quota of fruits without necessarily biting into one. Berries like raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are extremely comforting on the teeth, especially when they are tender right after the fitting session.

Raspberries

Nuts And Seeds

These can be the hardest to munch into if you have braces. In addition to getting caught in between the teeth and braces, nuts and seeds can bend/break the wires and pop brackets.

Nuts

What To Eat

The best way to eat your favorite nuts and seeds during this interval would be to grind them nicely and then use them as toppings for ice creams or yogurts. Alternatively, you can opt for nut spreads (for example, almond or peanut butter spreads) and have them with soft breads.

Peanut Butter

Vegetables

Just like fruits, vegetables need to be a regular feature in your staple diet. However, now that you are wearing braces, you need to make slight adjustments to the way you eat them.

What To Avoid

As in the case of fruits, it is best considered to avoid eating vegetables like carrots, broccolis and cauliflowers and other raw vegetables that are hard to bite into or chew.

Broccoli

What To Eat

You may not be able to eat your favorite vegetables in their raw state. But a little bit of steaming can moisten even the hardest of vegetables. So make sure you cook/steam the vegetables until they become tender, juicy or downright mushy. This would enable you to eat them without worrying about your braces. Some of the best veggie options in this case would include squashed carrots, mashed potatoes, potato salad, cooked spinach and other leafy greens, tender avocados, mashed beans, cole slaw, guacamole and non chunky salsa etc.

Mashed Potatoes

Grains, Breads And Baked Goods

Your body requires its daily dose of iron and fiber which are usually supplied by whole grains. And although most grains are soft and easy to chew, certain grains could be hard to chew and can pose a problem if you happen to wear braces.

What To Avoid

Whole grains (the unground variety) can cause difficulties for brace wearers. In addition to getting stuck in between the braces, they can bend or break the wires and brackets. The same goes for small seeds/grains and breads like bagel which contain a very hard crust (hard to bite into).

Whole Grains

What To Eat

Soft breads that do not contain a hard crust can be easy on the braces. Alternatively, you can remove the crust and eat the soft bread alone. Warming would also make the bread soft and easy to munch into. Accordingly, some of the best options for breads and baked foods would include muffins, pancakes, soft cakes, corn bread or steamed tortillas. In the case of grains, the best options would include quinoa, kasha, polenta, couscous, bulgur, steamed rice, cooked farro, pasta, grits and noodles etc.

Soft breads

Dairy Products

Rich in essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, protein and vitamin D etc., dairy products are generally easy to eat even with braces. They can be easily bit into and would require minimal chewing. However, you can never be too careful.

What To Avoid

The only complaint about a dairy product like cheese is that it tends to get stuck in between the teeth, braces and wires.

Cheese

What To Eat

Always opt for small bites of cheese and other similar products. You can also opt for alternative varieties like yogurt (without any chunks), pudding, soft cheese (like cheddar, cottage cheese or brie etc.), custard or other milk based drinks.

Yogurt

Meat, Poultry and Sea Food

The issue with meat and poultry is that both are fibrous in nature and need extensive chewing before they can be swallowed. However, that does not pose as an excuse for you to stop eating them altogether.

What To Avoid

Stay away from tough cuts of meat and poultry that can be hard to chew. Stringy meat tends to get stuck between the teeth and braces and so needs to be avoided as well. And options like chicken ribs and wings which have meat at the bone can potentially pop a bracket or break a wire. The same goes for fish bones which can get caught in the mouth and damage the braces.

Chicken Wings

What To Eat

Always opt for lean meat, preferably one with tender cuts. Cut the meat into small sizes which would make it easier for you to bite and chew them. And remove any meat at the bone in order to resist biting into the same. Remove all the bones present. Some of the best and safest options for brace wearers in this category would include soft cooked meat/poultry/fish, chicken/fish salad, meatloaf, steamed meat/poultry, meatballs, chicken nuggets, lunch meats (thinly sliced), fish croquettes, meat/chicken/fish fillets, fish sticks, or fish loaf etc.

Meatballs

Other Strict No-Nos

Eating candy is considered disastrous while wearing braces. While some candies tend to be sticky and stick to the teeth and the braces (they can be very hard to remove, mind you), others belong to the hard variety that can easily break the wires, bands and brackets. And so it is considered best that you refrain from eating any kind of candy with braces.

Eating Candy