Lakewood residents want to know, “What can I eat with braces?” At Brodsky Orthodontics, we hear that question daily. Dr. Joel and Dr. Charles want our patients to enjoy their braces treatment. While we know wearing braces means sacrificing certain foods, it doesn’t mean that you can’t ever indulge. With that in mind, let’s go over a few things. First, we’ll cover some foods the doctors recommend you steer clear of. We’ll also explain why. Then, we’ll discuss foods that are safe for you to eat with braces (including a few things you might not expect).
You Shall Not Eat
Braces are pretty tough, but even they have their limits. Surprisingly, certain foods can be detrimental to the wires and brackets of your braces. Damaging these components can cause the braces to lose their tension, essential to help straighten your teeth. It’s also worth noting that braces make it trickier to brush your teeth properly, which can cause plaque and bacteria to build up if leftover food particles aren’t removed in time.
Sticky and chewy foods can get stuck in your braces and may even pull the wires or brackets off your teeth. Some examples of sticky and chewy foods include gum, taffy, caramel, and gummies. Similarly, hard or crunchy foods can also damage your braces and make it difficult to keep your teeth clean. Examples of hard and crunchy foods include popcorn, nuts, hard candy, and ice.
Tough or stringy foods can get stuck in your braces and may be difficult to remove. Examples of tough and stringy foods include beef jerky, celery, and steak. Foods and drinks high in sugar and acidity can lead to tooth decay and discoloration of your teeth. Examples of sugary and acidic foods include soda, sports drinks, and candy.
What’s The Harm?
You should avoid these foods when you have braces for several reasons. First, braces are delicate and can be easily damaged by certain foods. If your braces become damaged, your treatment time may be extended, and you may even need to have the braces removed and re-applied. Additionally, certain foods can get stuck in your braces and make it difficult to clean your teeth properly, which can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Foods That Are Fair Game
While there are certain foods that you should avoid with braces, the good news is that there are plenty of delicious and nutritious options that you can still enjoy. Soft foods like mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables, and scrambled eggs are easy to eat and won’t damage your braces. These foods are also ideal for people who experience discomfort after tightening their braces.
Dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese are high in calcium and can help keep your teeth healthy and strong. Calcium is essential for maintaining the health of your teeth and bones, so it’s a good idea to include plenty of dairy products in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and are also acceptable for people with braces. Soft fruits like bananas and berries are easy to eat and won’t damage your braces. Cooked vegetables like carrots and green beans are also great options.
Bread and grains like soft tortillas, pasta, and rice are easy to eat and won’t damage your braces. These foods are also a good source of energy and can help keep you feeling full throughout the day. Protein is vital for building and repairing tissues in your body, so it’s critical to include plenty of protein in your diet. Protein sources like fish, tofu, and soft-cooked chicken are healthy options that won’t damage your braces.
One quick way to determine if food is safe to eat is to try to crush it between your tongue and the roof of your mouth. If you can, the food is probably safe for you to eat. Anything that you’d normally hold in your hands – like sandwiches or pizza – should be cut into smaller pieces.
Desserts and Candy
Everybody deserves something sweet every now and then. While we definitely don’t recommend eating sugary sweets all the time, they’re ok if eaten occasionally. Hold off on any candy that’s sticky, chewy, or hard. That means no nuts and no caramel. If you think regular food is a problem in getting out of braces, then caramel is an absolute nightmare! But with that out of the way, here’s a list of candies that are totally acceptable:
- Hershey’s Chocolate bars, without caramel or nuts, of course
- Reese’s peanut butter cups
- 3 Musketeers
- Soft Cookies
Braces Treatment At Brodsky Orthodontics
Being in braces doesn’t mean you must always be super strict. Though it does require you to forego certain yummy foods, remember that you won’t wear braces forever. Stick with your treatment plan so that you’re not stuck in braces longer than necessary! Schedule a free consultation with Brodsky Orthodontics right here.