What You Can And Can’t Eat With Braces

What can’t you eat with braces? While you might be able to eat whatever you want once your braces are off, it doesn’t mean that you should! In fact, some foods can really damage your brand new smile – and even make your braces slip out of place, so it’s important to know what those foods are. Here’s a short list of things that can wreck havoc on your teeth and gums while you have braces, so take note!


Why Are Dietary Changes Needed With Braces?

The purpose of dental braces is to physically move teeth and to train your body’s muscles to support these new positions. This can only be accomplished if you cooperate by adhering to a properly balanced diet. To make sure that you are getting enough calcium, for example, cheese and yogurt are good food choices. If you’re having trouble with high cholesterol, try eating fish instead of red meat. However, avoid acidic foods like citrus fruits because they will aggravate your mouth and your braces—and who wants irritated gums? Not me! So follow these tips and soon your mouth will be minty fresh! What can you eat with braces? Anything but hard candies—brushing is hard enough without lumps of sugar on your teeth!


To Protect Braces From Damage

Food that is soft and wet, or sticky, should be avoided because it could damage braces. Examples of foods to avoid include: sticky candy (such as caramel, taffy, gummy bears), caramels, marshmallows, chewing gum of any kind and peanut butter on a sandwich. To protect your braces you need to focus on what you eat. Foods that are high in sugar or starch (like baked goods) are not good for your teeth because they can cause tooth decay and cavities; however healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables with fiber will help protect your teeth from getting cavities while braces are placed on them.

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To Avoid Discomfort After Adjustments To Braces

Avoid certain foods and drinks for a week or two after your braces are adjusted. What is safe to eat with braces will vary from patient to patient, but most people can safely eat crunchy foods like nuts, hard candy, and popcorn. Foods like pizza crusts, chips, and crackers with big ridges should be avoided as they can irritate loose teeth while they’re moving into place. Avoid sticky foods like peanut butter until your teeth are more stabilized. Drinking hot tea or coffee can also be irritating; avoid hot liquids until after your braces have been tightened several times.


To Reduce The Risk Of Stained Teeth

Many people are still under the misconception that you cannot eat certain foods with braces. It’s true that there are some foods to avoid with orthodontic treatment, but for most people, moderation is key. Many of these dietary no-nos can be consumed in small amounts without any repercussions. Stained teeth will happen eventually with or without braces; staining from sweet drinks like soda or juice occurs because of plaque buildup and happens at a much faster rate when drinking through a straw. Brushing your teeth and flossing daily will prevent stain buildup, regardless of whether you have braces or not.

What You Can Eat With Braces

There are plenty of foods you can eat with braces that don’t require cutting, chewing or biting at all. Applesauce is often suggested as a soft food for those who have had orthodontic work done, and it’s high in fiber and vitamins A and C. It also has a texture similar to mashed potatoes, making it easier to chew than normal potatoes. Other fruits such as bananas, raspberries and strawberries are also soft enough to eat without chewing. While they tend to be higher in sugar, there are ways around that: frozen fruit gives you a bigger portion size with fewer calories but still offers sweetness; certain brands offer sugar-free varieties; or add no-calorie sweeteners yourself.

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What You Can’t Eat With Braces

Whatever you do, don’t eat raw vegetables. The jagged edges will shred your braces and, potentially, your gums. Other foods that are bad for braces include anything sticky (cookies, caramel), crunchy (peanuts) or chewy (carrots). If you have any questions about what can or can’t be eaten with braces, just ask a professional who has been working with patients for years. That way you know what to expect and how to prevent damage to your teeth as much as possible.

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