Teeth straighteningWhat You Can and Cant Eat With Braces

Within this blog we will be covering all the key points to know about what you can and can’t eat with braces. This includes why dietary changes are required, the foods you can eat and the foods you should try to avoid

Why Dietary Changes Are Needed

Dietary changes can be essential in the effectiveness of your braces, as it influences the entire orthodontic treatment. Four key reasons why dietary changes are so important have been outlined below

1. Alter Chewing Technique

A key reason for making dietary changes is because of the risks that hard foods can pose to the front teeth when having braces. Subsequently, by eating softer foods and foods cut into smaller pieces it encourages the stronger back teeth to chew more prominently and limits the usage of front teeth.

2. Avoid Damage

Damage to braces can render them ineffective and potentially prolong your treatment, subsequently changing what is eaten is essential. This involves avoiding hard/sticky foods as these can cause damage to arch wire and brackets, and thus limit brace effectiveness. While this can in some scenarios be fixed by an orthodontist, it is best to avoid the issue and ensure that the treatment finishes as quickly as possible.

3. Minimise Staining

Braces can make brushing your teeth much more difficult because with braces, certain parts of the tooth could be inaccessible, and thus increase the chance of staining, therefore try to avoid foods and drinks that can stain teeth easily.

4. Limit Discomfort and Potential Pain

Another issue to consider is the potential pain that occur when braces are first put in place or if they adjusted. This can make teeth/gums feel sore and thus softer foods will be far easier to consume and limit potential further strain on your teeth/gums.

Food To Eat

You can still eat most food with braces. It’s important that you clean teeth properly after eating because food can easily get stuck in their braces. Foods that can be eaten with braces include:

  • Sweet treats: While it may seem counter intuitive to consume sugary sweet treats, as long as strict attention is paying to snacking frequency, for example right after meals or one time only in-between meals they are fine. The ideal sweet treats will be on the softer side such as ice cream, jelly, or milkshakes.
  • Bread: Items such as such as naan, sliced bread or tortillas are all fine options to consume, so long as they are not toasted or cooked until hard.
  • Softer Fruits: Ideally soft fruits without seeds, hard shells, or potentially staining colours such as blueberries, strawberries and cherries.
  • Dairy Products: The majority of dairy products are fine such as milk, dips or yoghurt, cheese is also fine as long as they are soft and require minimal chewing.
  • Soft Seafood: Almost all seafood options are fine as long as any bones or shells have been removed beforehand, this includes crab, salmon, and mussels.
  • Grains: As long as the item has been sufficiently cooked then grans such as rice, noodles and pasta are all fine for braces.
  • Cooked Vegetables: As long as the vegetable is cooked sufficiently and is not too tough then it should be fine to consume.
  • Cakes & Muffins: This includes pancakes, soft sliced cakes and cupcakes which are all acceptable with braces.
  • Soft Meats & Chicken: Ideally avoid tough red meats, although chicken and sliced meat options which are not tough are fine options.

Food to Avoid

While the majority of your diet will likely stay the same when you have braces, there are certain foods to try to avoid and minimize potential damage to braces. Some of these items have been outlined below.

  • Turmeric: turmeric-based dishes can cause staining for teeth and the braces itself.
  • Whole Fruit & Raw Vegetables – Biting into hard whole fruits or raw vegetable can potentially break arch wires or brackets, thus they should either be cooked or cut into small pieces.
  • Ice: Chewing on ice when drinking cold drinks should best to avoid. Instead, drinks should be kept in the fridge to keep cold and avoid any issues.
  • Hard & Crusty Bread: While some bread options are fine, if they are particularly hard or crunchy then they can be problematic and avoided.
  • Lollies: Frequent surgery consumption will increase the chance of getting tooth decay, with no exception during the period of having braces. And with additional attention of avoiding hard and chewy options because it will increase the chances of breakage for braces.
  • Caramel, Toffee & Gum: Foods such as these are extremely problematic as they can become stuck to braces and cause damage, especially if consistently consumed over time.
  • Popcorn & Nuts: These items are particularly problematic and can cause significant damage to braces. They also can get stuck in between braces, and thus cause further issues this way, so should be avoided.
  • Tough Meat & Jerky: These items are particularly chewing and difficult to consume, so they should be avoided to minimize potential issues.