What Can I Eat With Braces?

Your braces are an incredibly important piece of equipment! Not only are they aligning your teeth (and possibly your jaw), but their well-being is directly tied to your oral health! Besides proper oral hygiene, another way to take care of your braces is to watch what you eat! At Mack Orthodontics, we understand that changing something so crucial to daily life can pose a bit of a challenge. Sometimes patients don’t even pursue orthodontic care because they are concerned about the restrictions placed on their diets! Dr. Mack and his team want to change the question from “What can I eat with braces?” to “How can I get started?” by shattering the misconception that braces severely limit your food options! Let’s look at all the delicious, mouthwatering food you can eat based on your treatment program.

Clear Aligners

We’re proud providers of the leading in-office clear aligner brand, Invisalign. Clear aligners are custom-made, transparent plastic trays that straighten the teeth over time by applying gentle pressure. Because the plastic trays cannot be accurately adjusted once made, they are removable, so patients can go through a series of trays (each slightly different from the last) during treatment to encourage teeth movement.

A significant benefit of the removability of the trays is that it allows you to make minimal modifications to your diet (if you should have to make any at all). To protect the trays, you must take them out of the mouth to eat or drink anything other than water. Without an appliance in the way, you are free to eat and drink whatever you like! 

The only recommendation is to avoid or limit your intake of foods that stain, like coffee or tea, because the residue on your teeth can transfer to your trays and cause discoloration. After consuming stainable items, you can rinse your mouth with water before wearing the trays as an added precaution to preserve their low-profile aesthetic. However, these steps are optional because the trays are only worn for one to two weeks before advancing to the next set.

InBrace Hidden Braces

Another option that requires little to no dietary changes is Inbrace Hidden Braces. Thanks to the unique S-shape of the wire and its placement behind the teeth, you are free to maintain your regular diet while in treatment. You also do not have to worry about discoloration or staining because no one will see your braces! Just follow Dr. Mack’s oral hygiene guidelines to keep them (and you!) in tip-top shape!

Metal & Clear Braces

We’ve grouped these because they are very, very similar. They use wires, brackets, and sometimes ligatures to move the teeth. Metal and clear braces are also glued to the front of the teeth, meaning they are front and center at mealtime, and you cannot take them off!

What you eat when you have traditional-style braces matters because you risk breaking them and causing unnecessary and avoidable pain. Broken brackets from eating the wrong food can make eating and oral hygiene difficult, and severed wires that poke at your cheek can be irritating and cause irritation. Unapproved food and drinks can also make thoroughly cleaning your braces challenging, increasing your risk of developing cavities, bad breath, and other health risks that could result in a frustrating and less rewarding orthodontic experience.

Think of your braces as a digital camera that is not waterproof. A couple of drops of water here and there might seem like nothing, but before you know it, your camera has suffered water damage and needs to be repaired or replaced. In fact, it might not even take consistent exposure before you notice some issues. Getting your camera wet just one time can cause harm. It’s the same with your braces and unsafe food!

Unsafe food includes (but is not limited to):

  • Popcorn. 
  • Chips.
  • Oreos.
  • Taffy, Caramel, And Other Sticky Candies.
  • Hard Candies.
  • Apples And Other Hard Fruits.
  • Corn On The Cob.
  • Lollipops.
  • Gummies.
  • Crackers.
  • Beef Jerky.
  • Ice Chewing.
  • Nuts.
  • Stringy Vegetables Like Celery And Other Hard/Crunchy Vegetables

Essentially, you want to politely decline food that is hard, crunchy, sticky, tough, or requires you to bite into it with your front teeth.

It doesn’t sound like we’re combating the idea of braces taking a chainsaw to your diet right now, does it? But let’s look at all the things you can eat!

  • Pasta
  • Soft Bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Soft Seafood And Soft Boneless Meats
  • French Fries And Mashed Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Vegetables Softened By Boiling Or Steaming (But Still No Stringy Vegetables)
  • Soft Fruits Like Blueberries, Strawberries, And Bananas
  • Hard Fruits Cut Into Thin, Bite-Sized Pieces
  • Soups
  • Soft Tortillas
  • Casseroles
  • Ada Sugar-Free Gum
  • Pies And Cake
  • Soft Sandwiches
  • Dairy Products Like Smoothies, Milkshakes, Puddings, Ice Cream, Yogurt, And Soft Cheeses
  • Eggs

All of these items have endless variations, so you can enjoy delicious food throughout your treatment, and if you’re dedicated, never eat the same thing twice! Just make sure the food is soft and cut into bite-sized pieces, and you’ll be good to go!

What Can I Eat With Braces?

For Personalized Guidance, Visit Mack Orthodontics!

When you make the leap to become an orthodontic patient, you’re doing more than upgrading your smile. You’re also improving your mental, physical, and oral health! The trust you place in Dr. Mack is not a responsibility he takes lightly, so you can feel confident during your orthodontic experience with Mack Orthodontics!

To begin your journey, schedule a free consultation at our Burlington or Hillsborough offices! You will receive a customized treatment plan and recommendations based on your lifestyle. Achieving the smile of your dreams has never been easier, so contact us today!