Everything You Need to Know About Eating with Braces

Damon braces system

Most types of braces used in teeth straightening are fairly durable and sturdy, but they can still be damaged or displaced by the wrong foods. This is true of traditional braces, clear braces and braces that hide behind teeth, though removable clear braces and retainers give you a little more flexibility.

So while you’re working toward a new set of straight teeth, what can you eat, and what should you avoid?

Foods Not to Eat With Braces

When you have braces, it’s best to avoid foods that are overly hard, sticky or crunchy. Hard foods can knock components of your braces loose, and sticky foods may be hard to clean off your teeth. Steer clear of popcorn and nuts which can become wedged between your braces and teeth. Crunchy snacks like pretzels, corn chips and crackers can also put strain on your braces. Sticky foods like chocolate, gum and candy can adhere to your teeth, and if you don’t clean properly, this can lead to cavities. Even if you experience some pain from your braces, you should avoid chewing on ice, as this can easily knock braces loose.

Foods to Eat Carefully with Braces

Some foods are in the grey area and can be eaten under certain conditions. Chewier bread like bagels should be torn into small pieces and cleaned thoroughly off teeth, and chips should usually be eaten one at a time. If you eat corn on the cob, cut the corn off the cob. Cut harder fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots into small, manageable pieces. If you have to eat harder foods, try not to bite into them with your front teeth. You should cut up anything that would require you to tear with your teeth, like pizza, meat, burgers and sub sandwiches.

Foods to Eat With Braces

Not every food is off limits. Softer foods like bananas, yogurt, mashed potatoes and cheese can all stay on the menu. Snackers can also still eat lighter cookies and crackers. Noodle dishes are easy to chew and don’t damage braces, and peanut butter and jelly is a good standby as long as you brush your teeth after. Soft fruits like melons and grapes are also great options, though if you have clear braces, it might be best to avoid fruits that could stain or dye them.

Whatever you eat, make sure you’re maintaining a healthy diet as well!

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