What Can I Eat With Braces?

The time has finally arrived–you are ready to get your braces on and start the journey toward a straight and healthy smile! At Thacker Orthodontics, one of our favorite moments is when we get to help new patients prepare for their treatment. But we don’t stop there! We are here to tend to your teeth and health over the months and years that they will be wearing braces. One of the extremely important components of your care routine is eating the right foods to support you and your braces. 

Let’s spend a little time walking through Dr. Jim and Dr. MaryEvan’s best recommendations for what you should and shouldn’t eat while your braces are on. The list is just meant to get you started, there are so many more foods to explore that we don’t have time for today! Our team is available for you to call and check in if you have any questions as you go!

How to Eat When Braces First Come On

The first stage you will need to think about is the adjustment period when your braces come on. You can expect some soreness and sensitivity in your teeth during this time, making it difficult to chew. You can certainly treat your pain with some aspirin or cold and hot compresses as recommended by your orthodontist, but you will want to consider which foods to eat as well!

Here is our shortlist of super soft and supportive foods to consider when you get your braces on:

  • Yogurt and berries
  • Smoothies
  • Milkshakes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pasta
  • Macaroni 
  • Soup
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft cheeses
  • Bananas

It’s best to avoid super hot or cold temperatures during this time which could aggravate your already sensitive teeth. Avoid spicy food and citrus during this time too! Don’t worry, you should be feeling better in just a few days and can start exploring other amazing food options. 

What Foods To Avoid During Treatment

Before we talk about what you should be eating with braces on, it’s easier to start with what you shouldn’t. While this part is no fun, we have to again remind you that treatment is temporary, and the sacrifices will be well worth it when you have your healthy and beautiful smile on the other side!

When it comes to the braces diet, it’s mostly about texture. You will need to avoid crunchy, hard, chewy, and sticky foods during treatment. That means missing out on:

  • Thick chips and pretzels 
  • Nuts
  • Hard or crunchy pizza crusts, bagels, etc.  
  • Hard candy
  • Chewy candy like caramels and taffy
  • Whole crunchy fruits or veggies (you can still eat thinly sliced apples or carrots)
  • Ice
  • Gum
  • Popcorn (the kernels can also get stuck in the gum tissue and cause an infection) 

The Best Foods For a Healthy Smile

Now let’s talk through the many amazingly delicious and easy-to-eat foods you can enjoy while wearing your braces!

For breakfast, we recommend:

  • Eggs
  • Pancakes and waffles
  • Oatmeal
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Soft cheeses
  • Grapes
  • Watermelon
  • Berries
  • Muffins and pastries without nuts

For lunch and snacks, we suggest:

  • PB&J sandwiches
  • Grilled cheese and soup
  • Sandwiches with lunchmeat
  • Bananas
  • Applesauce
  • Jello
  • Pudding

For dinner, we like:

  • Meatloaf
  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Soft quesadillas 
  • Casseroles
  • Cooked beans
  • Rice
  • Steamed, sauteed, or roasted veggies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Shredded chicken
  • Rice and beans

And don’t forget dessert:

  • Ice cream and milkshakes
  • Baked goods like cookies, cakes, and brownies
  • Chocolate
  • Some candy bars without nuts or caramel!

Cooking For Braces

When you are thinking about food prep, your main goal will be to avoid hard and crunchy foods and, instead, cook until things are soft and chewable. Steaming veggies is a great example of this. You will also need to avoid eating meat off the bone and instead cut it up into small and bite-sized pieces so that you won’t be tearing it off with your front teeth. The same goes for corn on the cob and chewy breads like bagels and pizza crusts!

Think About Your Drinks

Our biggest tip for thinking about beverages when you have braces is to drink sugary drinks in  moderation. Sugar in general isn’t great for your smile, and it can be especially bad when your braces are on since it’s more difficult to clean the plaque-producing sugar out from beneath your brackets and wires. As long as you only eat and drink sugary things in moderation, and continue brushing and flossing diligently, you should be in great shape with your smile! 

What Can I Eat With Braces

Let Our Team at Thacker Orthodontics Help You Thrive! 

Whatever part of your orthodontic journey you are on, at Thacker Orthodontics we are ready and excited to help you thrive! Patients in and around Cincinnati and Hillsboro should contact our staff to schedule a free consultation appointment. We developed this free appointment to make it easier for patients to learn about their orthodontic options and treatments before putting any money down! We hope our next smile transformation will be you, so give us a call today!