Foods to Eat & Avoid with Braces

foods you can and can't eat with braces

In the United States, around 4 million people are wearing braces to align teeth or help with other dental problems.

25% of this population are adults.

For those with orthodontic devices, eating or chewing food might be a little sensitive.

In this article, we will discuss the foods to skip and eat, and how to maintain oral health while wearing braces.

Eating with Braces for the First Time

During the first few hours of wearing braces, many patients would usually feel normal. However, after some time, pain can be experienced as gums would start to be irritated.

If you talk to someone who is wearing these orthodontic devices, they would tell you that eating is the most difficult part of having them.

Giving up some foods is also needed as some can get stuck in between your teeth and on your braces which can damage them.

So, what can one eat on the first day of wearing dental braces? 

In Asian countries, porridge is usually the first food choice, especially when gums are too sensitive to the texture of the food.

Other foods that a dentist would recommend during the first few days of your braces installation include the following:

  • Yogurt
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Soft fruits
  • Soft cheeses
  • Soft or steamed veggies
  • Moist desserts
  • Pasta

Generally, during the first day of wearing braces, you can eat foods that are easy to chew.

Sometimes, it may take a week for the gum sensitivity to reduce. When you feel less pain, that would be the time when you can go back to your diet.

Based on personal experience, during the first days, braces can loosen.

Thus, you might want to take care of them by avoiding foods that can damage them. Instead of biting foods, you might want to chop them first before putting them in your mouth.

You can also stick with cold beverages as they can help in numbing your mouth from pain.

What to Avoid Right After You Get Your Braces

After you get your orthodontic devices, you might want to avoid spicy foods and citrus foods. Although they are soft and easy to chew, they can increase your gum sensitivity, making your recovery time longer.

Acid from citrus fruits, you should also avoid acidic fruits.

Foods that Does Not Damage Braces

girl with braces holding apple

Of course, you will not stick forever with soft foods while you are wearing braces.

After a few weeks, you can already eat the foods you enjoyed before!

Some of the foods you can consider will be discussed in this section.

1) Dairy

Dairy foods are rich in calcium and when you are wearing braces, these are the first foods you should add to your diet.

Some of these are soft cheeses, pudding, yogurt, and milk-based beverages.

2) Bread

If you want to incorporate carbohydrates without worrying about loosening your brackets or wires, bread is a great option.

Some of these are soft tortillas, pancakes, and muffins.

However, always choose those that do not contain nuts.

3) Grains

Examples of grain-based food that you can consume while wearing braces are pasta, brown rice, quinoa, and lentils.

As much as possible, choose whole grain foods as they are easier to consume. 

4) Meats/Poultry and seafood

You can still eat your favorite meaty and seafood meals as long as they are cooked softly. Some of these are soft-cooked chicken, meatballs, luncheon meats, tuna, salmon, and crab cakes.

4) Vegetables

For the vegetables, you can eat mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, and beans.

Some people avoid carrots but you can still take this one as long as you cut it into smaller pieces before consuming it.

Veggies are healthy for the teeth. So, as long as the veggies are soft and easy to chew, you can eat all of them.

5) Fruits

Again, not all fruits are suitable for the few first days of having braces.

But, after some time, make sure to add fruits to your diet.

Some of these fruits are mango and banana. It is also advised to make fruit juices instead of consuming whole fruits. 

List of Foods to Skip with Braces

Moving on, there are also foods that you should avoid while wearing braces.

Generally, these foods can cause damage not just to your brackets and wires, but to your teeth as well. Some of these include the following:

  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Chewing gum and hard candy
  • Pizza crust
  • Hard rolls 
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers and chips

Some people tend to chew ice. If you have braces, you should avoid this habit. It is also advised to limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks to avoid plaque buildup. 

Although you can brush your teeth, some areas may not be reachable. Eventually, this can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, wearing braces can improve the overall appearance of your teeth. Although they can enhance your confidence, wearing them requires a lot of effort and sacrifice.

One of these includes giving up the foods you enjoy the most because some foods can prolong your treatment. If you have any concerns, always consult your dentist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long after the installation of braces can you eat regular foods?

This will depend on your sensitivity. Many people may take up to 4 days only for them to eat the normal foods while others may take up to 2 weeks.

Can I eat pizza while wearing braces?

You can enjoy eating pizza while wearing braces. However, you should avoid consuming the crust. If you wish to eat it, cut it into smaller pieces.

Can I eat ice cream after getting braces?

Ice cream is a cold food that can help you numb pain after getting braces. If you wish to consume one, do not buy those that come with nuts.