Whether we’re talking about teens or adults, braces are extremely common throughout the world. And given their proven teeth straightening abilities, it’s easy to understand the benefits of getting braces. However, many usually consider restrictions on eating food. While eating with braces does have its limitations, you can still have a well-balanced, nutritious diet while still having the foods you love. However, it’s important to consider what to eat with braces and the top foods to avoid so you don’t run into any costly issues down the road.
Feast on the Following with Braces
Once you feel those wires around your teeth for the first time, it can feel restricting when eating with braces. Once you get used to the orthodontic treatment, its easy want to go back to consuming the same types of foods you had before—but that’s where you should take a pause. If you have braces, it’s best to eat the following foods for a nutritious, yet still delicious diet:
If you have braces, you can't go wrong with eating most types of fruit (as long as they’re of the softer variety). From strawberries and blueberries to oranges and pineapple, these fruits are considered safe for your braces.
However, there are a number of fruits you should avoid—and we’ll discuss those later on. But for now, just know that soft fruits are just fine to eat and leave you with the peace of mind you deserve. Fruit is a healthy treat that will keep you and your braces happy and healthy.
Cooked vegetables are another fantastic food option for those eating with braces. The reason being – raw vegetables are naturally hard, making them a nightmare for your braces. Not only can they become stuck in your braces, but they can also cause brackets to loosen or detach from your tooth.
A great way to soften vegetables is by steaming them, but you can also boil them or cook them in the microwave for a quick solution.
As you've probably already guessed, you’ll want to enjoy softer, more tender meats to keep your braces intact. The tougher the meat, the more discomfort you’ll have—not to mention the annoyance of having food stuck in your braces and damage to your orthodontic treatment.
For tender, scrumptious meats, try fish, lean pork or beef, and chicken. Additionally, it’s best to cut these meats into small, bite-sized pieces for easier chewing.
Many dairy products are soft – yogurt, cheese, etc. which make them perfect options for eating with braces. Plus, they are packed with calcium. Calcium is proven to support healthy teeth, and strong teeth are key for any dental treatment, including braces. If you decide to eat cheeses that seem to be a little harder, make sure to cut them into tiny pieces in order to chew them more easily.
Now that you know what’s okay to eat with braces, now you should understand what not to eat. Many of the following food items can still be eaten with braces, but it’s important to prepare them properly and know that you’re risking the chance of having a broken wire, bracket or other issues, which will require an expected trip to your orthodontist. While you may love the foods listed below, you will need to hold off and make some sacrifices to have that perfect smile you’ve been waiting for. Do your best to avoid these foods:
Let's face it, most of us enjoy a good piece of candy from time to time. However, if you have braces, most candy is definitely something to avoid. While you may think that soft, chewy candy should be fine, these sticky sweets tend to get stuck in your braces more often than not.
Hard candy, on the other hand, can be detrimental to your braces and many times cause a broken bracket or wire. So, leave the hard peppermints and caramels in the candy bowl for now.
Although many fruits are okay to eat with braces, there are some types of fruit that should be avoided. However, how you prepare them also plays a big role. Here are some examples:
- Apples tend to be very harsh on braces but slicing them into small pieces is a great way to still enjoy them.
- Blackberries are another type of fruit you should stay away from given their hard seeds.
- Unripe pears and peaches can also pose some issues, but these can also be cut into small pieces for your enjoyment.
While we all enjoy a good veggie tray from time to time, these hard, raw vegetables can be damaging to your braces. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower—all are very healthy, but not so healthy for your braces. So, if you enjoy eating a lot of vegetables, make sure to cook them beforehand. You can also cook them in other dishes such as casseroles and pasta to soften them.
Nuts are another type of food group that should not be eaten with braces. Peanuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, and walnuts - not only are they very hard, but they can also easily become stuck around your braces. In addition, given the small size of most nuts, a broken bracket or wire is extremely possible when chewing these.
Consuming meat with bones can very damaging if you bite down on them with braces on. Foods such as chicken wings, boney fish, and pork spare ribs. However, it is still possible to eat the meat, as long as it is removed prior to mealtime.
OrthoCare Orthodontics is Here to Help
While it’s important to understand what foods to eat and what foods to avoid when wearing braces, it’s also vital to choose a great orthodontist. There may be a time when you consume the wrong food and break a bracket or wire. Our team at OrthoCare Orthodontics is here to help.
From our friendly and experienced staff to our professional, top-notch services, we’re here to offer the best orthodontic treatment in the greater Charlotte area. If you’re looking to get started with braces, call us today to take advantage of a $500 off orthodontic treatment promotion at any of our four practice locations. Contact us to make an appointment!