What Can I Eat With Braces?

At Brady Orthodontics, we offer traditional metal braces and custom-made clear braces. Both styles use brackets, wires, ligatures, and orthodontic accessories (like elastic bands to adjust jaw placement) to improve even the most complex bite alignments. Though the types are not 100% identical, they have one thing in common—you must modify your diet! If this is news to you, or you are unsure what to change, don’t worry. We’ll tell you! Keep reading to answer the question, “What Can I Eat With Braces?”

Why Does It Matter What You Eat With Braces?

While in treatment, you must adjust your diet and oral hygiene to accommodate the fixed (non-removable) appliance in your mouth. Though today we will focus specifically on food, you should remember that following a braces-friendly diet can have a huge, positive impact on oral health and hygiene.

Eating the right foods is crucial to a pleasant and beneficial orthodontic experience. You risk unnecessary pain and discomfort whenever you eat nonapproved food because “wrong” food can break your brackets and wires. These items could also get stuck in your braces and be hard to remove. If you have pain and frustration during your oral hygiene routine, you are likely not adequately cleaning your mouth daily. When you can’t thoroughly clean your teeth and gums, you build up bacteria and plaque that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and more. These issues can quickly become severe enough to prolong or postpone orthodontic care. They can even permanently damage your smile.

We want you to achieve the beautiful and functional bite alignment you’ve always dreamed about! To do that, you need to feel excited and comfortable throughout treatment. An easy way to stay motivated and avoid orthodontic issues is to modify your diet accordingly.

Can I Eat…?

Changing such a significant part of your lifestyle and daily routine can be daunting and unappealing, but we promise that it will be so worth it in the end. Let’s review some examples of food you can and cannot eat and why.

No, You Can’t Eat…

Once we glue your brackets to your teeth and install your wires, you should avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy food. Another big nope is a food you have to bite into! All these foods can easily break your wires, leading to an uncomfortable orthodontic emergency that can disrupt your daily routine. The following are some examples of food that should make you say, “No, thank you!”

  • Popcorn. 
  • Chips.
  • Oreos.
  • Hard Taco Shells.
  • Ice Cream Cones.
  • Taffy, Caramel, And Other Sticky Candies.
  • Hard Candies, like lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, Lifesavers, et cetera.
  • Gummies.
  • Gum.
  • Crackers.
  • Beef Jerky.
  • Ice Chewing.
  • Nuts.
  • Stringy Vegetables Like Celery And Other Hard/Crunchy Vegetables.
  • Crunchy Or Hard Whole Fruits.

Remember, these foods can break your braces and be hard to remove from your orthodontic appliance. Avoiding them might sound challenging, but doing so is much easier than facing the consequences of eating them.

Yes, You Can Eat…

While it may feel like your diet is limited when you become an orthodontic patient, that’s not the case! True, you have to cut out some things, but there are still plenty of amazing options to pick from, just remember to cut any solid food into small, bite-sized pieces to protect your braces. Let’s check some out!

  • Pasta!
  • Soft, Boneless Meat!
  • Casseroles!
  • Boiled Or Steamed Vegetables!
  • Soft Fruits!
  • French Fries!
  • Rice!
  • Sandwiches!
  • Lunch Meat!
  • Soups!
  • Soft Bread!
  • Yogurts!
  • Smoothies!
  • Pudding!
  • Ice cream!
  • Soft Cheeses!
  • Eggs!

The above list is not fully inclusive or specific because many of the items listed have seemingly endless variations, recipes, and restaurants to choose from. Instead of thinking of braces as taking away possibilities, consider them an excuse to try items you would not have otherwise considered, such as a soup you always see on the menu but never order. You’ll find it hard to get bored of all the flavors available, and you can still consume all your daily nutrients.

What Can I Eat With Braces?

For More Information, Visit Us At Brady Orthodontics!

You and your family will receive top-notch care at Brady Orthodontics. Dr. Brady is board-certified, so you can feel confident he has the experience and expertise to create stunning, high-quality results every time. He and his team take pride in transforming the smiles and the lives of the people in the Winnetka area with braces.
To learn more about braces and discover if you or your family are a candidate for care, contact our office in the Winnetka area to schedule your zero-commitment, free consultation! Brady Orthodontics looks forward to serving you and your family!