When you first get braces, it can feel like you have very limited options in terms of what you can eat. Dr. Demas, a leading orthodontist in Southington, will help you understand the limitations of braces and how you can best care for
them by putting thought into the foods you or your child eats.
You may be surprised to learn that the list of foods you should avoid is not actually that long, but there are many foods that should be limited or eaten with care. The good news is you can safely eat a wide variety of foods without worrying about damage to your braces. After you become accustomed to minor changes in your diet, you probably won’t give much thought to what you’re missing.
The day your child’s braces are put on, Dr. Demas will discuss the importance of avoiding foods that can break or damage the braces like very hard or tough foods. We will give you special care instructions on the types of foods that are completely safe, foods that should be avoided, and foods that need to be eaten with care.
Are There Foods I Can’t Eat with Braces?
One of the biggest disadvantages of braces is you must limit your diet in some ways while the braces are on your teeth. This is because some foods can pop brackets or damage wires. There are some foods that need to be completely avoided. This list includes:
- Beef jerky
- Do not chew ice with braces!
- Seeds and nuts
- Hard or crusty bread like bagels
- Pizza crust
- Corn on the cob (remove the corn from the cob)
- Crunchy chips
Foods to Eat With Care
There are also some foods that can damage your braces if they aren’t eaten carefully, but you can still enjoy them. It’s important to cut these foods into small bite-size pieces or remove them from the bone before they are eaten.
- Hard cookies. Try softening them by dipping them in milk first.
- Meat on the bone, such as chicken wings, drumsticks, and ribs. Remove the meat from the bone first.
- Crunchy vegetables and vegetables like carrots, apples, and pears. Cut food into small pieces. Vegetables can also be softened by cooking first.
Foods That Need Extra Cleaning
Some foods are safe to eat with braces, but you will need to take extra care afterward to clean your braces. Some people avoid these foods completely because the effort just isn’t worth it. Who wants to spend hours trying to pick chewing gum or caramel out of their braces?
- Soft gummy bears
- Soft caramel
- Stringy meat
- Chewing gum
- Sticky or gooey candy like tootsie rolls and licorice
Foods That Require Immediate Cleaning
Your child’s teeth are more susceptible to decay while the braces are in place. This is because food particles can become trapped with bacteria and sugar, creating the ideal breeding ground for decay. With braces attached directly to the teeth and wires, it can be almost impossible to completely clean the teeth.
Cleaning the teeth immediately after eating sweets is important to avoid tooth decay. It’s important to clean your teeth immediately after eating candy or drinking sugary or acidic beverages. These foods and drinks should be avoided as much as possible because, even with immediate cleaning, your teeth may still become damaged.
Foods that will require an immediate cleaning include:
- Drinks with sugar such as lemonade and sweetened tea
- Energy and sports drinks
- Soda (diet and regular)
Foods You CAN Eat With Braces
While the list of foods that should be avoided and those that require extra care can seem a bit overwhelming, it’s important to remember that there are many of foods you can eat safely with braces. Here’s a partial list of foods you can enjoy with braces.
- Soft breads like pancakes, biscuits, and soft tortillas
- Grains and pasta like spaghetti, lasagna, noodles, and rice
- Seafood like salmon, crab cakes, and tuna
- Meats like soft-cooked turkey, chicken, lunch meat, meatloaf, and meatballs
- Dairy products like soft cheeses, yogurt, and milk-based drinks. Cheese cubes or sticks high in calcium are an excellent treat to fight cavities because they stimulate the production of saliva to neutralize acids and cleanse teeth.
- Vegetables like mashed potatoes and soft-cooked veggies
- Fruits like bananas and cut-up apples
- Treats like pudding, applesauce, and ice cream
Tips for Caring for Your Braces
It can take some time to adjust to living with braces, but it’s important to learn how to eat and care for them throughout your orthodontic treatment so you can enjoy healthy, straight, and beautiful teeth when the braces are removed.
While eating, remember to avoid anything hard that can stick between teeth or damage the braces. Do not bite into hard foods with your front teeth and avoid temptation with hard foods like candy canes as you may accidentally bite into them.
Your teeth may feel uncomfortable or tender for the first few days after the braces are put on. You can manage the discomfort by using a mouthwash of 1 teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. As your teeth and mouth adjust to the changes, this discomfort will go away.
We recommend brushing your teeth after every meal and carefully removing food stuck in your braces because the wires, springs, bands, and braces can attract and trap food and bacteria. You can also use a fluoride mouthwash to rinse areas that a toothbrush cannot reach. A Waterpik can also help flush out food.
To floss with braces, feed the end of the floss through the space between the upper part of the tooth near the gum
and the main arch wire. A gentle sawing motion can be used to work the floss. Do not pull with too much force.
If you feel that the bands or wires on your braces are loose or that the braces are coming off, contact your orthodontist right away. Your braces may require modifications or repairs.
Call Team Demas Orthodontics Now!
If you have any question or concern about your child’s braces, contact Dr. Demas at 860-276-0333 . You can also contact our office for a complimentary consultation for orthodontic braces in Southington to find out if you or your child is a good candidate.
Team Demas Orthodontics
27 Meriden Ave #2a, Southington, CT 06489, USA
Are There Foods I Can’t Eat with Braces?