Once the orthodontist puts braces on your teeth, your diet will need to change to keep your braces safe and working properly. The list of foods that people with braces aren't allowed to eat can sometimes seem dishearteningly long. However, there are many tasty foods that people with braces can eat safely. Knowing which foods are safe to eat will help you enjoy the time while you have braces, and keep your braces from needing costly repairs.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Before you can compile a list of foods that you can eat, you'll want to know what types of foods you can't eat. The worst foods for your braces are those that are hard, crisp or sticky.
Hard or crisp foods can damage your braces, while sticky foods can stick to the braces themselves and become caught in the wires. This means that you won't be able to eat a variety of sugary, tasty candies like gum, licorice, fruit roll-ups and candy bars. Chips and popcorn should also be avoided.
What Types of Foods are Still Acceptable?
The best foods for your braces are those that are soft. For breakfast, these foods will include things like eggs and yogurt. Blended breakfasts, like fruit smoothies, are a delicious way to meet your nutritional needs without doing any damage to your braces. Blend the fruit with yogurt to get a smooth, drinkable texture.
For lunches and dinners, soups are usually safe because they involve well-cooked, soft vegetables and small cut-up pieces of meat. Soft breads, soft tortilla shells and pita shells are acceptable for making things like sandwiches and tacos. String cheese, mashed potatoes and relatively soft veggies like peppers and cucumbers are also acceptable.
What Foods Require Special Preparation?
There are many foods that will require special preparation in order to be eaten. Carrots and apples must be cut into thin ribbons in order to be safe for your braces. Cooking the carrots or apples is also acceptable, as long as they have been cooked long enough to be soft.
If you're going to eat corn, be sure to cut it off the cob beforehand. Nuts must be chopped into small pieces. Nuts that have been baked into breads may be alright as well, if they are soft.
It's important to remember that when you prepare foods, cut up the food into small pieces, chew well and always brush your teeth when you're done with a meal. When in doubt about a particular food, speak with your orthodontist at a clinic like Mar Orthodontics.