Best Foods to Eat with Braces

You will generally need to avoid certain foods while wearing braces. Extremely hard foods such as nuts can damage the braces and they are also difficult to remove from the braces. Sticky foods such as taffy can pull the braces apart when you chew, and sweet foods can increase the risk of cavities when they remain on the braces. The pressure created by braces typically makes your teeth ache, especially during the first week. This discomfort may further restrict you to soft foods until you adjust to your braces. The best foods to wear with braces can be categorized into breads, meats, vegetables and snacks.

Breads

The breads that you eat while wearing braces should be soft without pieces of nuts, seeds or whole grains. Ensure that whole wheat bread has a smooth texture, and cut off the crust if needed. You may need to steam or microwave tortillas to make them soft, especially corn tortillas. Crackers and matzo balls are usually soft enough to eat with braces so long as they aren’t stale. Foods made from hard grains such as farro must be cooked until they are very soft.

Meat and Dairy

You may need to prepare meat dishes in a pressure cooker or crock pot to ensure the meat is tender, especially when you first receive braces. Barbequed meat may also be soft enough to eat while your teeth are still sore. Lunch meats are typically acceptable when wearing braces if they are thinly sliced. Other meat dishes may require you to cut the meat into small pieces. The best cheeses to eat with braces are soft cheeses such as brie and cottage cheese. Harder cheeses like cheddar, harvarti and Swiss should be thinly sliced.

Vegetables

Brace wearers can eat most vegetables if they are thoroughly cooked. Raw vegetables such as carrots and broccoli will typically be much too hard to bite into. Raw, leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach also require you to exert a strong biting force with your incisors, which may be uncomfortable when you first get braces.

Snacks

Ice cream should be free of hard items such as nuts and chocolate chunks. Snack bars may be acceptable if they aren’t too sticky or chewy. Most people with braces find that iced drinks numb the pain from braces, although you should ensure the drinks don’t contain too much sugar.

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