What Can I Eat With Braces?

For decades, braces have been known for being the best orthodontic option. They can fix even the most severe of conditions, and thanks to the latest advances in technology, they are now more comfortable and discreet than ever! Despite all the good they do, many people still have one big question about their biggest drawback— “What Can I Eat With Braces?” This concern is entirely valid!

Food plays a huge factor in your everyday life; it plays a role in your health and social life, and we know many people think that braces place heavy restrictions on your diet. Dr. Francis of Decatur Orthodontics wants to set the record straight! Our Brava hidden braces and LightForce clear braces require patients to adjust their diets a little, and knowing what you can and cannot eat is crucial to having a pleasant and minimally inconvenient treatment experience! Fortunately, your grocery list won’t change as much as you think it will. 

Why Does It Matter What You Eat With Braces?

When you wear fixed appliances, maintaining the excellent condition of your oral health and braces relies heavily on your diet. Keeping you healthy and your braces in one piece is crucial to achieving the best smile with little trouble. But why?

LightForce brackets, wires, and Brava Independent Movers are durable, but eating the wrong food can damage them, making them uncomfortable and annoying until fixed. Wires poking you in the cheek and gums could create open wounds, and broken brackets can make eating a challenge. Damaged braces are also disruptive to your daily routine because you must see Dr. Francis to get them repaired. We love seeing you, but we also understand that you might have other places you’d rather be! Being careful with your food choices can allow you more free time out of the office.

Unsuitable food can also make your braces challenging to clean, leading to frustrations in your oral hygiene routine. If you cannot properly clean your teeth and gums, you have an increased risk of bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, white spots on teeth, and other issues, which can negatively impact your experience and results if left untreated. 

Altering your diet is an easy way to ensure a pleasant orthodontic experience.

So, What Can You Eat?

Luckily, your diet does not have to change that much! You might even be surprised by how little modifications are necessary! 

If you are a Brava patient, you must only refrain from hard, crunchy, and sticky food for the rest of the first day while your braces settle in and your mouth recovers. Starting the following day, you can return to your regular diet with two exceptions: you want to cut all hard food into bite-size pieces and avoid sticky food. Essentially, you should not bite down with your front teeth or eat anything that could get stuck in your Independent Movers. Other than that, you can eat all your favorite foods (except nuts)—just be careful! 

LightForce patients have a few more restrictions, but we promise it is worth the sacrifice! You should avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy food throughout your treatment. Like Brava users, you also shouldn’t bite or tear into anything with your front teeth! You should eat softer food to protect your ceramic brackets and nonsticky food to protect your oral health and peace of mind. Let’s look at some examples.

“Yes” Food

  • Pasta
  • Soft bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Soft seafood and soft boneless meats
  • French fries and mashed potatoes
  • Rice
  • Vegetables softened by boiling or steaming (but still no stringy vegetables)
  • Soft fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and bananas
  • Hard fruits cut into thin, bite-sized pieces
  • Soups
  • Soft tortillas
  • Casseroles
  • Pies and cake
  • Soft sandwiches
  • Dair products like smoothies, milkshakes, puddings, ice cream, yogurt, and soft cheeses
  • Eggs
  • Cookies that have been broken into bite-sized pieces and softened with milk
  • Thin, small pieces of crackers, preferably softened by soup

Isn’t it hard to believe that braces limit your diet when you think of all the endless variations of the above food? We know you will find it hard to get bored with all the possibilities! 

“No” Food

    • Hard, crunchy chips
    • Popcorn
    • Hard cookies
    • Taffy, caramel, and other sticky food
    • Hard candy
    • Hard taco shells
    • Ice cream cones
    • Corn on the cob
    • Whole apples and other hard fruits
    • Gummies
    • Hard crackers
    • Beef jerky
    • Ice
    • Hard bread (toasted, grilled, et cetera)
    • Nuts
    • Stringy vegetables like celery (the string can get caught in the braces) 
    • Hard vegetables
  • Bonus: LightForce brackets are stain resistant, but we encourage you to rinse your mouth with water after every meal. This will remove any residue that could discolor the elastics that hold your braces in place.

What Can I Eat With Braces?Visit Decatur Orthodontics For More Information About Braces!

Don’t see your favorite food on the “Yes” or “No” list? Dr. Francis and his incredible team would be more than happy to help! Contact us today to get your questions answered so you don’t have to replace a snack or meal item unnecessarily.

Are you feeling much better about getting braces now that you know your diet isn’t in jeopardy? We hope so! Schedule your free consultation with Decatur Orthodontics to discover which type of braces you qualify for.