What You Can and Can't Eat With Braces

What You Can and Can't Eat With Braces
Posted on 09/04/2018

What Can I Eat? A Guide To Eating With BracesGettyImages-673135194

Braces can be life-changing, creating new smiles for kids that will last them the rest of their life, or maybe giving an adult the perfect smile they always wished they had. However, that’s not the only way that braces are life-changing since going through orthodontic treatment with braces does require a few lifestyle adjustments.

One of the main differences that patients with braces will need to take some time to get used to is the change in their diet since they’ll need to cut out certain foods from their daily meals if they hope to have a flawless smile by the time they get their braces off. “Why do I have to give up certain foods?” you might ask. Well, there are many types of food that can easily break or cause damage to your braces, even though they are made from a durable stainless steel. Unfortunately, damaging or breaking your braces will put your progress toward that new smile on hold until you can get them fixed.

To make sure you don’t run into that issue, your local dental experts here at Blooming Smiles have put together this helpful guide to what you can and can’t eat with your braces.   

Foods You Should Avoid With Braces

Whether you have the stainless steel metal braces or the clear ceramic braces, those brackets are durable enough to stand up to most foods. However, it’s not the brackets that are the problem here. It’s the thin, metal archwire that is attached to those brackets, and the small amount of orthodontic cement that is attaching each bracket to a tooth. Unfortunately, those parts aren’t a strong as your brackets, which is where the following foods can cause the most damage. Below are the types of foods you should avoid to prevent damage to your braces.

Hard & Crunchy Foods

Did you know that the average person can bite down with over 100 pounds of pressure with their back teeth, and over 50 pounds with their front teeth? We need all of that power in our teeth and jaw to effectively chew our food every day. However, there are some foods that take a bit more effort to bite into than others, specifically hard and crunchy foods. While our teeth can take that high amount of pressure from biting down onto something hard, the orthodontic cement and the archwire can’t. If you bite down on something hard or crunchy while you’re in braces, your risk bending the archwire or even snapping a bracket right off your tooth, since they just can’t withstand the pressure needed to bite into that piece of food. Some examples of hard or crunchy foods you should avoid are:

  • Hard candy

  • Popcorn (due to the kernels)

  • Ice

  • Chips

  • Pretzels

  • Hard chocolate bars

  • Hard cookies or crackers

  • Raw vegetables and fruit (ex. Carrots & apples)

  • Croutons and stiff bread (ex. French & Italian bread)

  • Corn on the cob

Sticky Foods

When you eat foods that are sticky and tougher to chew, it can apply a surprisingly high amount of force on your teeth and braces. As you chew on sticky foods, your jaw and teeth need to continuously work hard and pull apart that sticky substance. Unfortunately, all of that force may be a cakewalk for our teeth and jaw, it can also break brackets and bend the archwire. Some sticky foods to avoid include:

  • Sticky candies (like taffy, gummy bears, or Tootsie Rolls)

  • Gum

  • Licorice

  • Toffee & caramels

Braces-Friendly Foods You Can Snack On

While there are a number of foods that you need to steer clear of when you’re in braces, there are still plenty of delicious meals and snacks that you can enjoy with your braces on. Also, you’ll be out of your braces before you know it, so can return to eating all of your favorites that are in the “avoid” list for now. In the meantime, just chow down on some of these braces-friendly foods:

  • Soft fruit (ex. Bananas, grapes, strawberries)

  • Mashed or baked potatoes and sweet potatoes

  • Smoothies

  • Yogurt, cheese, and other dairy

  • Soft pasta

  • Oatmeal

  • Eggs

  • Soups

  • Steamed vegetables

Contact Us For More Information

If you have any questions about what you can or can’t eat with your braces, just contact us at Blooming Smiles Children’s Dentistry and Orthodontics. A member of our team will happily answer your questions, and even provide you with some guidance on other delicious things you can eat with your braces. Our practice has been helping the families of Northridge and Woodland Hills, CA for years, providing professional dental care for the whole family to create healthy smiles that last a lifetime. For everything you need to have the perfect smile, just choose Blooming Smiles. We look forward to hearing from you soon!