What Can I Eat With Braces?

Whether you are considering braces, are about to get braces, or are already a braces patient, we are proud of you for starting your orthodontic journey! It can be a big commitment, and though we firmly believe it is worth it, sometimes, people don’t get the braces they want or need because they think metal and clear braces will have heavy restrictions on their diet while in treatment. At Champlain Orthodontics, we are passionate about providing patients with the knowledge and tools they need to make the best decision for themselves. Today, we want to tackle the misunderstanding surrounding food and braces.

So, Does It Matter What You Eat With Braces?

Yes! The mouth is typically sore and uncomfortable for a little while after we tighten your wires to create teeth movement. Eating the right foods can make the adjustment period after these appointments more bearable and less frustrating! But modifying your diet is about more than reducing discomfort—it also protects your braces from damage!

Food considered harmful to your braces can break your brackets and wires, which can be painful and disruptive to your daily routine when you must come to the office to fix them. Unsuitable food can also make your braces challenging to clean, leading to frustrations in your oral hygiene routine. If you cannot properly clean your teeth and gums, you have an increased risk of bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues. 

Frequent aches and annoyances can negatively impact your orthodontic experience, and we don’t want that! One simple way to make your time in braces pleasant is to adjust your diet!

What Can You Not Eat?

Fortunately, your diet does not have to change all that much. While you have braces, you should avoid using your front teeth to bite or tear into food, as these actions can easily injure your appliance. Instead, cut or break your food into small, bite-sized pieces so that you can use your back teeth to chew. 

You should avoid or minimize your intake of ​​hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy food. Even in little pieces, they can weaken or break your braces. Sticky food also has a knack for getting stuck in hard-to-reach places, which might make your oral hygiene routine frustrating. If you associate oral hygiene with unfavorable feelings, then you are less likely to properly clean your mouth and more likely to develop oral health issues that can complicate your orthodontic experience.

To preserve your oral health and keep your braces in good condition, avoid the following food:

  • Hard, crunchy chips
  • Popcorn
  • Hard cookies
  • Taffy, caramel, and other sticky food
  • Hard candy
  • Hard shell tacos
  • Ice cream cones
  • Corn on the cob
  • Whole apples and other hard fruits
  • Gummies
  • Gum
  • Hard Crackers
  • Beef Jerky
  • Ice Chewing
  • Hard Bread
  • Nuts
  • Stringy vegetables like celery (the string can get caught in the braces) 
  • Hard vegetables

This list is not all-inclusive, so be sure to ask Dr. Ryan or Dr. Eaton before adding something new to your diet. 

What Can You Eat?

If it feels like we have removed many things from your diet, don’t worry! There are still plenty of delicious things you can enjoy! Let’s check some examples out.

  • Pasta
  • Soft bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Soft seafood
  • French fries
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Rice
  • Soft, boneless meats
  • Vegetables softened by boiling or steaming (but still no stringy vegetables)
  • Soft fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and bananas
  • Hard fruits that are cut into thin, bite-sized pieces
  • Soups
  • Soft shell tacos
  • Casseroles
  • Pies
  • Soft sandwiches
  • Cake
  • Smoothies
  • Milkshakes
  • Puddings
  • Ice cream
  • Yogurt
  • Soft cheeses
  • Eggs
  • Cookies that have been broken into bite-sized pieces and softened with milk
  • Thin, small pieces of crackers, preferably softened by soup

Like our previous list, this is not all-inclusive, and you can enjoy plenty of other foods! Many of the foods mentioned above have endless variations, countless restaurants to get them from, and recipes to try at home. Instead of thinking of braces as limiting your options, try to see it as an excuse to expand your horizons and try items you might not have tried otherwise. 

Do Clear Braces Have The Same Expectations?

Patients with clear braces have to follow the same dietary guidelines, but they should be less lenient with their hard food intake. Our 3D-printed clear braces are made with state-of-the-art technology, but they are less durable than their metal predecessors and could chip and crack if you are not careful.

Though LightForce braces are unlikely to become discolored, it’s not impossible. To maintain their clear appearance, try to avoid anything that might stain your braces, such as red food or drinks, coffees, or teas, and rinse your mouth with water after eating to remove any residue.

What Can I Eat With Braces?See Us At Champlain Orthodontics To Learn More!

Braces are a fantastic way to invest in yourself. Once you see your new smile, you will be grateful for every time you passed on “no” foods. 

Champlain Orthodontics is here to make your experience as stress-free as possible every step of the way. If you are ready to discover if you or your family qualify for braces, contact Champlain Orthodontics to schedule a free in-person or virtual consultation! If you are a current patient, head to your patient portal for additional resources. No matter which phase of treatment you are in, you can always contact us at our Williston or St. Albans offices to speak to a helpful team member.

We are honored to help people in the Williston and St. Albans communities improve their quality of life through their smiles.