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What Can I Eat with Braces, and What Should I Avoid?

Eat with Braces
Don’t worry! Having braces doesn’t mean your lifestyle has to change too drastically. You simply have to be more careful about what you eat with braces and maybe slightly more creative in how you are eating it.


Foods You Should Avoid

It is best to avoid sticky foods and candies such as gum, tootsie rolls, starbursts, toffee, and caramel. These foods can get caught up in your wires, and well, that will just be bad news. Hard foods such as jolly ranchers, popcorn (those darn kernels!), raw nuts, and even ice are a no-go as well, for now, to avoid popping off any of your brackets and hardware. Even tough, chewy foods such as pizza crust, hard rolls and bagels need to be off limits for now…but hey the rest of that pizza is just fine! You’ll want to lay off the hard shell tacos or tortilla chips and opt for soft tacos instead.


Foods You Should Minimize

You’ll want to reduce the number of sugary treats such as cookies and cakes; as well as limit those sodas and juices, to avoid tooth decay or problems behind the brackets. But we should all be minimizing our intake of those things as it is, so really, this shouldn’t be too big of a change.


Foods That Simply Require Some Creativity

Some things that may seem tough to eat with braces just need to be eaten differently, with a little spin. You never know, you might find your prefer them this way!

  • Chicken wings, legs, or ribs are fine as long as you pull the meat off the bone first.
  • Thinking about eating carrots, apples or other raw fruits and veggies? Cut them up into smaller bites, or better yet steam or cook them slightly! There is nothing better than roasted carrots or baked apples with cinnamon—Umm YUM! And if you find yourself with corn on the cob, remove the kernels from the cob first.
  • Love some crunchy cookies? Simply dunk them into some milk first (bummer right!?) and you are good to go!
  • Smoothies are a great way to get your fruit and veggies while not worrying about them affecting your braces. Throw in a few veggies into a fruit-based smoothie, and it is a delicious afternoon treat! Just be sure to do a quick brushing afterward.
  • If you really miss those health benefits from nuts such as walnuts, cashews, and almonds, stir them in and cook them up in your favorite dishes! This cashew chicken recipe is fantastic; just be sure to leave the cashews in a little longer to get them a bit softer. You can always add almonds or walnuts to your smoothies for the extra nutrient punch–or try out almond flour for your pancakes next time around! These almond flour flapjacks are a hit in my family.


Kick Those Bad Habits

Now is the perfect time to kick some bad habits as well, as they are particularly bad when it comes to braces! Stop biting those nails, and if you are one to nibble on pens and pencils while you think, it is time to stop that as well.

It means a little bit of a dietary change when you get the braces put on, but with a little creativity, and yes, perhaps a little sacrifice—you can still make the most of the time it takes to get that amazing smile perfected! Trust me; I think you will find it to be worth it!


Questions about what foods are ok to eat with braces? Or better yet, have a recipe to share with others who need some ortho-friendly treats? We would love to hear it. Comment below!
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