What Can You Eat with Braces and What You Can’t?


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Dr Sukanya Goswami
Sukanya has done BDS. She is a dentist, a blogger, an extrovert, and a travel enthusiast. She is also a spiritual believer. When she is not working, you can find her reading books.

Orthodontic treatments are usually complicated. It is mainly performed by using braces to align the teeth and straighten them, close the gaps, and correct the overbite or underbite. During this time, braces can bring a little bit of pain and discomfort by putting pressure on the teeth. Many people feel irritated around the teeth and gums for the first few days.

People with braces also find it challenging to chew particular food. Moreover, there is always a risk of breaking the wire or bracket that can extend the treatment further. Certain foods like ice cream, popcorn, hard candy are off-limits because they can stick to the braces and damage the appliance. Moreover, it’s hard for people to give up some of the food they love to eat.

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It is essential to take care of your braces and keep a check on the type of food you consume. It helps to maintain good oral health. Furthermore, it also reduces the damage to the braces. Today’s article will highlight the types of food suitable for people with braces. Furthermore, we will also discuss the kind of food that should be avoided after braces treatment.

What to eat when you wear braces?

Usually, braces do not hurt the teeth and gums. However, it makes the mouth sensitive for the first few days. It is, therefore, essential to eat foods that are soft to avoid painful situations. Ideally, the food items that can be consumed after getting braces are listed below –

  • Oatmeal
  • Soups
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs (1)
  • Fish and other seafood
  • Soft cheese and moist dessert
  • Cooked pasta
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Soft fruits such as grapes, banana, and watermelon

Typically, the list mentioned above consists of everything that can be chewed easily.

What food should not be consumed right after braces treatment?

It is crucial to know what type of foods should not be consumed, mainly by people with braces. This is because such food items can irritate and increase the biting pressure on the teeth. Some of the food items that should be avoided right after getting braces to include –

  • Ice cream
  • Citrus food
  • Spicy and hot food (2)
  • Thick rolls of bread
  • Thick meat

What food should be avoided when you have braces?

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The braces treatment usually takes around a year or more to complete. During this time, it is essential to keep in mind that your braces are sensitive to damage and can cause unnecessary pain. (3) Therefore, it is better to list down the following items that should be avoided until your orthodontic treatment is completed –

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Hard ice
  • Hard and chewy candy
  • Chewing gum
  • hard pizza crust
  • hard rolls and bagels
  • crunchy fruits and vegetables
  • hard and crispy crackers
  • chips
  • pretzels

Additionally, it would be best if you also reduced the consumption of sugary food and drinks as they may make the teeth sensitive. Moreover, the sugars from such food items may mix with the saliva and lead to sticky plaque formation that may be difficult to clean with a toothbrush.

Can different food loosen the wires or bands on braces?

As mentioned above, braces are very sensitive to damage and breakage. It is usually caused by certain food items or even by the following events such as –

  • sticky or crunchy chips, candy, chewing gum
  • injury to the mouth (4)
  • using a toothpick to clean the tooth surface around the wire and brackets

during this time, it is essential to book an appointment with your orthodontist right away and adjust your braces. Multiple damage or delay in repair can often slow down the treatment time.

Additionally, keep in mind to never pull or bend a broken wire or piece of the bracket. Instead, place orthodontic wax or a piece of wet cotton on the sharp edge of the wire until you meet your dentist for damage repair. (5)

What can you do to maintain good oral health with braces?

It is crucial to maintain good oral health throughout the braces treatment. One of the best ways is to follow a good oral health regime which includes –

  • Brushing your teeth at least two times in a day or preferably after every meal with a soft-bristled orthodontic toothbrush.
  • Use a piece of floss or an interdental brush to clean the areas between the teeth, wire, and bracket.
  • A good fluoride mouthwash or warm saline mouth rinse also helps to remove the unwanted food particles and provide fresh breath. (6)
  • Consume a soft, nutritious, and well-balanced diet.
  • Always be regular with your orthodontic appointments. Moreover, contact your dentist immediately in case of damage to the braces.

Take away message

Braces are orthodontic appliances that are meant to align your teeth and enhance your smile. Although they are made up of reliable metallic components, braces can be easily damaged by eating the wrong type of food. Some food such as ice cream, hard candy, popcorn, crunchy food can put pressure on the wire and brackets or even stick to the appliance. Such incidents may break the wire or damage the bracket. Moreover, sugary food and drinks can lead to plaque formation that may be difficult to clean.

It is, therefore, essential to keep a check of the type of food you consume during orthodontic treatment. Foods like soft cereal, grains, fruits, vegetables, soups, and cheese are best for people with braces.

Your orthodontist can advise you better on the dietary habits you must adopt during the time you get braces. Additionally, you must also follow a good oral health regime to maintain oral hygiene and protect your teeth, gums, and braces from further damage.

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