As a child, you have probably been told by your parents to avoid foods that can get stuck in your braces. While it’s true that there are certain foods that do get stuck in the braces, it is also important to remember that eating food with braces can be perfectly safe. In fact, research shows that when patients with braces consume a balanced meal plan, they experience no ill effects from their dental appliances. The key is simply knowing which foods should be avoided and why they might cause problems.
Dentists recommend braces for a variety of reasons. They can be used to enhance the working efficiency of the teeth. They can be utilized in straightening of the teeth or to improve the overall look of the face. After starting the treatment, the patient’s mind is filled with lots of questions. What foods can you not eat with braces? A list of eatables comes in your mind and you wonder whether they can be used.
Foods You Can Eat After Having Braces
- Soft Fruits – Grapefruits, nectarines, Applesauce, bananas, kiwi
- Meats & Poultry – Soft cooked chicken, meatloaf, meatballs, and lunch meats
- Vegetables – Mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, other steam vegetables
- Dairy – Soft cheese, yogurt, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Bread – Soft tortillas, biscuits, muffins without nuts, pancakes
- Treats – Jell-O, ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, soft cake without nuts
- Grains – Soft cooked rice, cooked pasta
- Seafood – Crab cakes, salmon, tuna
Foods You Should Avoid With Braces (Precautions)
- Sticky Food – Gum, licorice, toffee, tootsie rolls, caramels, starburst, skittles, gummy candy
- Hard Food – Ice, nuts, hard taco shells, pizza crust, popcorn, crunchy chips, jolly rancher candy,
- beef jerky
- Starchy Foods – Cake, ice cream, cookies, pie, soft candy, pretzels, crackers, lollipops
After eating sugary starchy food always swish your mouth with water.
- Acidic & Diet Beverages – Soda, sweetened tea, sports and energy drinks, vitamin water
Here are some frequently arousing questions (after having braces) with their answers are:
Q: What foods should I avoid after braces?
A: You should not take hard, chewy or sticky things as they can bring harm to your braces and can put stress on your teeth as well. These include nuts, gums, ice, hard chocolate or cookies, and popcorn etc. You should also avoid eating raw vegetables, fruits, burger, meat, and hard rolls as they involve front teeth for biting purpose.
Q: What can I eat with the braces on the first day?
A: The first day with braces is little uncomfortable. You need to take soft things to avoid strain on gums and teeth. You can make smoothie using coconut milk, vanilla yogurt, frozen berry, spinach and whey protein powder. It is good in taste and gentle for your braces on the first day. You can also try pudding in your favorite flavor, yogurt, and soup.
Q: How long after getting braces can you eat normal food?
A: You can eat right after getting braces. Generally, during first 3 to 5 days people face soreness and tender teeth. So, they are recommended to take soft foods in the beginning. After that period is over, you can come back to your normal food.
Q: What to eat with braces the first week?
A: In the beginning, people are more cautious as they are not at ease with the braces. So, during the first week, you can have scrambled eggs, soft cheese, baked apple, tomato soup, mashed potatoes, and meatloaf. Trying a salad made with cucumber and carrot ribbons is also not a bad idea indeed.
Q: Can you eat pizza with braces?
A: Yes, you can eat pizza for sure. All you need is to avoid hard edges. The way you eat pizza can also be a help. If you use a fork to eat pizza instead of biting it with your front teeth, the fewer food particles will stick within your braces.
Q: Can you eat chips with braces?
A: You can eat chips after breaking them into tiny pieces. After few days, you can even eat potato chips without breaking them into small pieces and they bring no harm to the braces. Just to be on the safe side, try thinner chips.
Q: Can you eat cereal with braces?
A: Yes, you can eat hot cereals and most cold cereals. Try to avoid hard granola as you need to chew it properly.
Q: Can I eat candy with braces?
A: The answer is no. It is one of those foods that your dentist would suggest to avoid. There are a number of reasons behind this answer. First of all, it is not a healthy product to consume. It is made with sugar and thus can be providing nourishment to the bacteria that are present on your teeth. Secondly, it is sticky and hard and you have to put pressure on your gums while chewing them. This pressure can make your brackets loose and you may need to see your dentist to fix this problem. This problem can prolong the duration of your treatment. So, to overcome your craving to eat something sweet, you can try soft things that are sweet too. Pudding or ice cream can fulfill your desire of having something sweet.
Q: Can you eat peanut butter with braces?
A: You need to avoid peanut butter as it is sticky. It also contains chunks that can easily be stuck within the spaces between the braces.
Q: What are braces-friendly foods?
A: Eatables that do not cause any pain or damage to the braces are braces-friendly foods. A variety of food can be included in this category. These are pudding, banana, applesauce, ice cream, soft cheese, pancake, eggs, mashed potatoes, rice that are soft cooked, noodles, yogurt, soup, smoothies, and the milkshake. Soft cooked seafood after separating from bones can also be consumed.
Q: Can I eat chocolate while having braces?
A: Yes, you can eat chocolate with no caramel as caramel is thick and sticky and can be a trouble for the braces. You should also avoid chocolate with nuts as they can also be problematic if they get stuck anywhere between the spaces. But, there is no harm in eating plain chocolate.
Q: Can I eat steak with braces?
A: You have to be careful while eating meat. You have to chew it properly so it must be well cooked and tender. It must be removed from the bones. You can have it if it is lean. So, you can take the steak.
Q: How can I eat after getting my braces?
A: After getting braces, you need to make a plan of what you are going to eat, the way you will eat and how to take care of braces as well.
The following steps will surely be a help in this regard.
- Go For Soft Foods After Braces:
You can eat all braces-friendly foods mentioned above to avoid stress, strain or damage to your braces. Naming a few: Smoothie, yogurt, ice cream, and soup.
- Avoid Hard And Sticky Eatables:
Do not eat things that get stuck in the braces and can harm them. Popcorn, nuts, gums, raw vegetables, and burgers will not go well with your braces.
- Make Changes In Eating Style After Braces:
You need to be careful while eating anything. Try to use knife and fork instead of biting with your front teeth. Cut food into small pieces so that you don’t have to chew a lot. Try using your back teeth more for chewing purpose. You can keep your food a little back on one side between your molars so that incisors have to make less effort while eating. Do not eat in haste. Drink water to make swallowing a little more comfortable.
- Take Care Of Hygiene With Braces:
Knowing how to clean your braces is very important. You need to floss under and through the wire of your braces properly. Brushing using an interdental toothbrush is also a good idea. Try to brush after every meal. Do not hurry. Take two to three minutes to clean your teeth properly.
Maintenance Tips For Healthy Teeth
Keeping teeth clean is very important all the time, including while wearing braces. Give teeth a thorough brushing every time you eat. Rinse your mouth with clean water if you can’t brush right away. Brush with toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush, brushing around all the parts of your braces and teeth. When done, your braces should look shiny and clean, and the edges of your brackets should be clearly visible.
You should floss your teeth each night before bed. Use waxed floss with a floss threader, which will allow you to get between teeth and braces more easily. Flossing should involve sliding the floss up into the gum line before going to the next pair of teeth.
Another tip for healthy teeth is to get orthodontic care regularly. Doing so will help the orthodontist keep track of your progress, as well as spot any troublesome areas.