All posts | May 25, 2016

Eating with Braces: Do’s and Don’ts

by Karin Grinbaum

Don’t worry, eating a steady diet of applesauce, yogurt and mashed potatoes is NOT necessary

You can eat real food with braces – lots of it! But there are snacks and foods to avoid. Braces are precision appliances that could be damaged by eating hard foods. Sticky, crunchy or certain soft foods can loosen or dislodge the brackets from teeth and promote tooth decay. If it’s hard, especially chewy or likely to get stuck in your teeth, then it’s something to skip. If you still go trick-or-treating on Halloween, then you might make a new friend because you’ll be giving away loads of candy.Caramel apple

  • Doritos, popcorn, caramel and nuts are all bad choices with braces.
  • Gum is out. That big fresh bagel? Pass.
  • Corn on the cob? Next year.

The good news is tons of great food can be eaten safely with braces

Some examples:

  • Proteins – hamburgers, boneless poultry, seafood, cooked beans, hummus
  • Fruits and vegetables – most soft fruits and roasted or steamed veggies
  • Breads and grains – waffles, muffins, sandwich bread, soft tortillas, cake, cookies, rice, pasta, cooked cereals, quinoa, cake
  • Dairy – cheeses, ice cream (no nuts!)

If you’re using a retainer to keep teeth in their desired position, it’s generally recommended you remove the retainer and place it in its dedicated case immediately before eating. Eating with the retainer in your mouth can trap food and potentially alter the shape and effectiveness of the appliance. If you do eat with your retainer, be careful and rinse the retainer immediately after eating. Bottom line: Eating safely with braces is a piece of cake and more. You’ll find plenty on the menu.