What can you eat with braces – and what should you avoid

by | Feb 11, 2023


Braces are life-altering in the best possible way. They transform your teeth and smile with minimum effort, yet it can take a few days or weeks to adjust to the extra pressure on your teeth. While you will get used to that given time, you might be more concerned about the food you may have to give up temporarily. When wearing braces, food to eat and avoid is an important point of consideration because we need to be careful as some foods can damage our braces.

Despite there being certain food to avoid with braces, there is so much more that you can still consume and enjoy. Also by taking a few precautions and making a few changes you can still eat and drink most of your favourite food even while wearing braces. 

Foods you can eat

You can have fun experimenting with the foods to eat with braces and find versions and combinations that work for you. It will take some time but soon consuming the food that will not harm your braces will become natural and you will not really feel the loss of the foods best avoided. Here are some examples and options of food that you can enjoy.

Soft food – Getting braces is not painful but your mouth and teeth will be sensitive for a few days immediately after getting them. At this point you have to be very careful with what you eat and sticking to soft foods will ease and prevent a lot of unnecessary discomfort. Grains such as rice, pasta, scrambled eggs, crab meat, soft fish, soft cheese, oatmeal, soups, mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces will make them easy to chew. Basically, you will be recommended to avoid hard or tough textured food for the first few days. 

Boneless meat – Eating boneless meat will be easy to chew and you avoid the risk of biting into bone which can damage your braces and hurt your teeth. 

Beverages – During the early stages you can drink with braces water or plain milk and fruit juices that are not too sweet or acidic. You may have to gently clean your mouth with water or by brushing your teeth, after having a juice though to avoid build-up. Stick to moderate-temperature beverages, so as not to activate your teeth sensitivity. Avoid sugary drinks, at least initially.

Dairy based food – Soft cheeses, yoghurts, butter and cream are good foods for braces as they are soft and nutritious. Ice cream is actually a good choice in the first few days as the cool temperature will help relieve discomfort and calm inflammation but avoid having ice cream chunks or hard ice.

Fruits and vegetables – Soft fruits and vegetables can complete your diet with options such as bananas, peaches, pears, berries and apples being some examples of fruit. Soft-cooked veggies like potatoes, carrots, squash and peas cut into small pieces to avoid having to bite into them with your front teeth are wonderful choices.

Foods you should avoid

Just as there are foods you can enjoy there are foods to avoid which can damage your braces. These are a hard pass, and you should not take the risk of having them adversely affecting all the benefits of your treatment. A basic list of foods to avoid with braces include:

Hard candies – This is an obvious one to avoid because anything hard, chewy or crunchy can break or damage your brackets while also causing tooth decay if not cleaned thoroughly.

Meat with bones – At least right after treatment avoid meat with bones because you run the risk of biting into bone by mistake. 

Seafood – While most seafood is a good option for braces it is best to avoid shellfish shells or fish with bones which could damage brackets.

Popcorn – Popcorn is not only a sticky food it is also very hard with hulls that can get stuck under your braces. They wedge between teeth and below the gums which will make things very uncomfortable. 

Nuts – Right after your orthodontic treatment it is best to avoid all types of nuts because they can bend wires and break off braces. If you do not want to avoid the nutrients you get from nuts then opt for smooth nut butters. 

Sticky food – This is something you may have to avoid right throughout the duration you are wearing braces. If not, get into the habit of cleaning your teeth and braces properly after consuming foods such as gummies, chewing gum or caramel. These types of food get caught between the wires and brackets and can cause plaque build up if not cleaned properly. As we know, increased plaque leads to tooth decay and gum disease.