Eating with Braces – What Can I Eat?

What to eat and not eat when you’re wearing braces

When wearing braces it’s hard to figure out what you can and can’t eat. When you first get braces on your teeth they can be a bit tender and you’ll naturally go for softer foods. Even as you get more used to wearing them and feel you can manage different foods, you still have to be careful.

Remember the braces are designed to be removable, unfortunately, the down side is they can be damaged when chewing certain foods.

Below are some guidelines for what to eat and what to avoid eating.

Foods to avoid

Anything that is hard or sticky is best avoided or eaten with care. They can either get stuck in the brackets, damage them or cause discomfort. Here’s a list of foods to avoid

  1. Popcorn
  2. Nuts
  3. Hard taco shells
  4. Sticky and hard candy
  5. Chewing gum
  6. Ice
  7. Pretzels
  8. Hard cookies or crackers
  9. Sticky or hard chocolate

Take care when eating

These are foods that you can eat but with care. Cut them into smaller bite size portions. Avoid biting into foods with your front teeth.

  1. Raw vegetables
  2. Croutons
  3. French / Italian bread
  4. Fruit
  5. Hard rolls
  6. Thin crust pizza
  7. Meat that is in big chunks (eg steak)
  8. Burgers
  9. Sub sandwiches
  10. Corn on the cob

Foods to avoid when wearing clear braces

When wearing clear braces the bands can pick up pigment from certain foods and drink, making them look a bit stained. The bands will be changed regularly so it’s not the end of the world but here’s some tips to avoid staining.

  1. Tomato based dishes, e.g. tomato soup, spaghetti bolognaise, etc.
  2. Red wine
  3. Tea / coffee
  4. Curry
  5. Dark oily sauces like spicy chicken wings
  6. Beetroot

Maintaining a healthy diet is very important. Soft food and cutting it up into bite size pieces can allow you to eat safely.

Examples of Foods that you can eat safely:

  1. Hulless popcorn
  2. Bananas
  3. Yogurt
  4. Light crackers or cookies
  5. Cheese
  6. Mashed potato
  7. Melons
  8. Grapes
  9. Peanut butter
  10. Noodle dishes such as macaroni
  11. Dahl
  12. Cooked vegetables
  13. Spaghetti bolognaise or other mince dishes.

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