Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces

Young girl with glasses and braces smiling holding half a watermelon

People get braces to align and straighten their teeth or help with other dental problems like underbites and overbites. But applying them to your teeth is not the final step to achieving the smile you desire.

The upkeep of braces goes far beyond your routine appointments at the orthodontics office. They require a lot of at-home maintenance that is applied in your everyday life.

Brushing and flossing are always pertinent to maintaining good oral health and ensuring your teeth and gums stay healthy during treatment. To protect your orthodontic appliances, it is also essential to adjust the foods you eat. Some may argue this is the most challenging part about getting braces. While some foods are completely off-limits, others should be eaten with extra caution.

We put together a list of the best and worst foods to eat with braces to help you successfully achieve the smile you always wanted.

What To Eat When You First Get Braces

While the process of getting braces isn’t painful, it can cause some sensitivity and tenderness to your teeth in the first few days. They also will change the way you chew. For this reason, it is recommended to eat mostly soft foods or anything easy to chew.

Some recommended foods include:

  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Soups
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Steamed Vegetables
  • Pudding or Jell-O

What to Avoid Eating When You First Get Braces:

Sensitivity to your teeth will only last for the first few days after getting your braces. However, you will want to avoid eating certain foods in that time period to prevent additional irritation to your mouth.

Cold and spicy foods such as ice cream or hot sauce are also good to avoid when first getting braces because they may increase sensitivity. Similarly, citrus fruits are also good to avoid because the acids can break down the bonding agent that holds the braces to your teeth. Acidic foods are also known to break down tooth enamel.

Recommended foods to avoid after getting braces:

  • Cold foods like ice cream or popsicles
  • Spicy foods like Jalapenos or Chili Peppers
  • Thick rolls or bread
  • Steak or thick cuts of meat
  • Citrus fruits and other acidic foods

What to Avoid Completely With Braces

Once your tooth sensitivity has diminished, it is safe to resume your regular diet. However, there are foods you should continue to avoid to protect your orthodontic appliances. Like your teeth, braces are sensitive to damage, and sticky or hard foods can damage the wires or cause a bracket to break.

Here are foods to avoid entirely with braces:

Sticky Foods

  • Gum
  • Candies
  • Taffy
  • Toffee
  • Caramel

Crunchy Foods

  • Chips like Tostitos or Doritos
  • Pretzels
  • Hard Taco Shells
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn

Hard Foods

  • Raw fruits and vegetables (Apples and Carrots)
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Burgers
  • Pizza Crust
  • Nuts
  • Hard Candies

We know some of your favorite foods may be on these lists. That is why there are solutions, so you don’t have to give them up entirely! For foods such as corn on the cob, apples, or burgers, you can cut them into smaller pieces and eat them safely.

What To Do If Your Braces Come Loose

Don’t panic! If you happen to eat something sticky or crunchy and a bracket comes loose, call your orthodontist immediately. Pulling or bending a broken wire or bracket could cause additional damage. If you ignore the issue, it could delay your treatment time. Your orthodontist is not only there for routine appointments but to solve any hiccups that might happen along the way.

Contact Holistic Orthodontics Today!

At Holistic Orthodontics, we understand that visiting the orthodontist can be a stressful process. That is why we commit ourselves to providing you the individualized care you need to improve your confidence and smile. If you have questions about braces or are ready to begin your orthodontic process, we are ready to help. Schedule your appointment with us today!