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What can I eat with braces (The Top 7 Worst Foods for Braces)

February 15, 2024

So you’ve just had your braces placement appointment, congratulations! As you adjust to your braces system, your mouth may feel extra full and you may feel like you’re producing more saliva than usual. No worries, that’s completely normal. You and your mouth will quickly adjust to your new teeth straightening friends.

As your first day with braces goes on, you may find yourself wondering “exactly what foods can I eat with braces again?” Your Morejon + Andrews Orthodontics team is here to give you a quick refresher!

The best way to learn about what foods to eat with braces is to start with the worst food for braces. Let’s dive in!

Top 7 worst foods to eat with braces

Yes, it’s true there’s some dietary restrictions when it comes to orthodontic treatments like traditional braces or even advanced self-ligating braces. But keep in mind if you want to experience a comfortable and efficient smile journey, it’s necessary to follow these guidelines.

Here’s the top 7 types of food to avoid with braces:

  1. Gummy bears, caramels, taffy, or lollipops/jolly ranchers. Any type of sticky or chewy candies can easily stick to your brackets and wires, and make it almost impossible to completely remove. These common sticky culprits often result in loose brackets at best and cavities at worst.
  2. Peanuts, pistachios, pecans, or macadamia nuts. Nature’s crunchy delights (including hard granola bars) easily break brackets or wires, leading to severe discomfort and an orthodontic emergency appointment.
  3. Popcorn. While a movie night staple, popcorn can be especially damaging to your braces and cause gum irritation from unpopped kernels and sneaky popcorn flakes.
  4. Gum. Just like their sweet and sticky counterparts, chewing gum can be easily caught in your braces, with the added danger of bending your braces wire. Ouch!
  5. Ice. Chewing ice cubes puts unnecessary pressure on your braces system, causing damage over time. In fact, chewing ice can also weaken your enamel.
  6. Pretzels and chips. Think of pretzels and chips like the carb version of jolly ranchers. Snacking on some Pringles or Doritos can wreak havoc on your brackets and wires.
  7. Corn on the cob and whole apples. These foods are a little tricky with braces. Just the right bite and your brackets can pop right off, just like taking a bite of an apple as a kid with a loose tooth! But not to worry, you can still enjoy these delicious snacks, just slice them off the cob or cut them into manageable pieces.

What foods to eat with braces

Now that you have an idea of what not to eat, let’s talk about what foods are safe for your braces! Generally, it’s a good rule of thumb to opt the opposite of the worst foods to eat with braces. Choosing soft cooked food items to enjoy can make it easy on you and your braces.

Here’s a list of foods you can eat with braces to help inspire you!

  • Cheese and yogurt
  • Tender cuts of meat such as soft-cooked chicken, fish, or beef (just make sure any meat is removed from the bone before enjoying!)
  • Pasta and rice
  • Soft breads
  • Soft tortillas
  • Quinoa, couscous, and oatmeal
  • Puddings, ice cream, and smoothies
  • Steamed veggies like broccoli, squash, zucchini, and more.

What to eat with braces the first week

Your first week with braces will be when you’re at the most uncomfortable part in your smile journey. You may experience some soreness during this time as your teeth begin to move into healthy alignment. Depending on your comfort level, you may feel ready to enjoy soft cooked meals or stick with soups for a few days.

Here are a few options:

  • Smoothies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soups
  • Berries and bananas
  • Steamed carrots (or any vegetable!)
  • Scrambled eggs

Still have questions about what foods to eat with braces?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you, and we would love to discuss orthodontic treatment with you.

We’re here to guide you through your braces journey. Check out our full Amazon list for our favorite items to support you along the way.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Palm Coast or Ormond Beach, come see us! Dr. Morejón, Dr. Andrews and our team would love to meet you.

Request a complimentary consultation for you or your child today.