Foods to Avoid With Braces

Foods to Avoid With Braces and Other Tips for Kids With Braces

Wearing braces is one of the proven and time-tested orthodontic treatments for correcting misaligned teeth. Moreover, braces have become more sophisticated over the years, thanks to advanced dental technology. Compared to old-school brackets, today’s braces have become sturdier, more stable, and at the same time, more comfortable to wear. Taking the discomfort and awkwardness out of wearing braces encourages users to wear them for longer periods, which is essential to the increased effectiveness of these orthodontic appliances.

To make sure your child is getting the most out of the benefits of wearing braces, it’s important to prepare for, and commit to some lifestyle changes that will help you take care of your child’s teeth and your braces investment. Also knowing which foods to avoid with braces is important when making your grocery list. The general rule is to cut down on food items that can get stuck in between the brackets and wires. Therefore, orthodontists reccommend the following foods should be avoided or eaten with care:

Sticky foods: Caramel, sticky chocolates, chewy candy, gummy bears, taffy, gum.

Hard food in small pieces: Nuts, popcorn, chunky peanut butter, hard candy, cereals, corn.

Crunchy or tough-to-chew food: Ice, hard taco shells, chips, beef jerky, pretzels, hard cookies.  

Break up or cut up before eating: Raw or undercooked vegetables and fruits, crusty bread, meat.

These food “restrictions” do not mean that you should sacrifice your child’s nutritional intake or their ability to enjoy good food. In fact, it is important to eat well because a good diet and nutrition is key to maintaining strong gums and teeth, preventing gum inflammation and ensuring overall good oral health.

With a little creativity, your child can still partake of many of the items listed above by tweaking their usual preparations. For example, their favorite veggies may be steamed until soft or fruits can be cooked up into a jam or spread, or incorporated into a healthy smoothie.

Moreover, some of the recommended foods for brace wearers are also delicious and packed with nutrients. The following foods are suggested because their soft and smooth texture allows for easy chewing and cleaning of teeth after eating: bananas, melon, seedless grapes and watermelon for fruits; yogurt, cheese, thin and light crackers for snacks; and mashed potatoes, thick blended soups, ravioli, macaroni and noodles for hot meals.

As always, make sure to clean your teeth and your braces well after eating. Rinse your mouth to get rid of food particles if you can’t brush your teeth right away. Or better yet, pack a dental hygiene kit so you can follow your routine wherever you are. Use the type of toothbrush, toothpaste and floss as recommended by your Pediatric Dentist.

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