What you can and cannot eat with braces

When you’re wearing braces, the orthodontic appliances, brackets and wires can be damaged by some types of foods. That’s why your orthodontist gives you dietary guidelines. The foods you’ll want to keep away from your braces are primarily hard or sticky.

Just to be able to compare the do’s and don’ts, we’ll go over the “not to eat” foods first. Some of the things you’ll want to leave alone are:

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Chewing gum
  • Pizza crust
  • Croutons
  • Caramels
  • Jelly beans
  • Ice cubes
  • Tootsie rolls

It’s easy to see how these things and other hard or sticky foods and candy would cause damage.

There are other foods you should be cautious about eating, and if you do feel you just have to have some of these things, cut or break them up and chew with your back teeth.

The “be cautious” list contains:

  • Bagels
  • Chicken wings
  • Raw veggies
  • Hard fruit like apples
  • Fruit with pits
  • Granola bars and
  • Other items that might be hard, have bones, or might need to be cut up
  • Also avoid foods high in sugar and brush soon after you do

Now here’s the good part! Let’s see how many of your favorites you can eat when wearing braces:

  • Ice cream
  • Potato chips
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Cottage cheese
  • Eggs
  • Milkshakes
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
  • French fries
  • Soft pretzels
  • Sub sandwiches (cut up)
  • Cheese
  • Soup
  • Crackers
  • Cereal in milk
  • Soft fruit
  • String cheese
  • Peas
  • Cream corn
  • Other things like hamburgers and so on can be cut up into small pieces

Things that are soft to chew and won’t stick to or inside your braces, and things that are not high in sugar are on your “go ahead and enjoy” list. Try to focus on eating with your back teeth and not the front, eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly, and remember – the list of things you can eat is a whole lot longer and healthier than the list of things you can’t eat!

If you have any questions about the types of foods you can or cannot eat, don’t hesitate to ask one of the team members at Orthodontics at Don Mills.

Enjoy your braces!