Foods to Avoid

Braces aren’t like when you were a kid. But, Dental Associates notes that while braces are studier than ever before due to modern technological advances, they can still be damaged. Certain foods can break down the components of appliances, like tiny alastic bands, archwires or even brackets themselves. When wearing braces, avoid all foods that are sticky, hard or chewy. Always eat softer foods while following a detailed brushing and flossing regimen.

Foods to Avoid With Braces

We know that avoiding foods during orthodontic treatment isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. Snacks like candy or popcorn can get caught in your braces or aligners and be hard to remove. Enough food particles built up over time can cause harmful plaque and bacteria. Brushing and flossing thoroughly to get rid of any buildup is key. Use mouthwash, fluoride toothpaste and water to help wash these foods away.

  • Popcorn

  • Tree nuts

  • Corn chips

  • Tortilla chips

  • Potato chips

  • Any hard, chewy or sticky candy (think starbursts, gummy bears, skittles, bubble gum)

  • Ice cubes

  • Hard pretzels

  • Hard cookies or crackers

  • Chocolate

  • Chewy bars

  • Raw granola

  • Beef jerky

  • Pizza crust

  • Hard taco shells

  • Trail mix

  • Snack mixes

  • Raisins

What Foods Can I Eat?

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  • Yogurt

  • Meatballs

  • Meatloaf

  • Fish sticks

  • Chicken Nuggets

  • Oatmeal

  • Waffles

  • Sliced deli meat

  • Egg salad

  • Banana slices

  • Orange slices

  • Shredded cheese

  • Soup

  • Ramen

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Toast with butter

  • Guacamole

  • Smoothies

  • Spaghetti

  • Ravioli

  • Macaroni and cheese

  • Ice cream

  • Cake

  • Brownies

  • Tofu

  • Roasted vegetables

  • Shredded chicken or beef

How To Eat Certain Foods

Not all hope is lost when it comes to maintaining a normal diet while going through treatment. Many foods can be crushed up or cut up. This makes them easier to eat, especially when wearing braces. Delicious food items including raw vegetables, croutons, thin crust pizza, chicken, steak, hamburgers, sandwiches and corn on the cob can all be sliced and diced for easier consumption.

Cooking During Treatment

It’s hard to find new foods to eat, let alone if you have braces. Dental Associates has come up with a great list of dishes to cook when receiving treatment. For breakfast, try pancakes, oatmeal, French toast and eggs. For lunch, go with applesauce, pudding, soft cheeses, potato salad, cole slaw and chicken nuggets. For dinner, try out cornbread, meatballs, meatloaf, crab cakes, beans and squash. For dessert, soft pastries, cake and ice cream are all good options.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene During Treatment

Listen, we understand that many of the foods listed above just can’t be avoided. So if you decide to eat a chocolate bar or a bag of chips, you must keep up with oral hygiene. By ensuring your teeth are clean and plaque free during treatment, you will avoid problems later on.

Please follow our Brushing and Flossing Guide to maintain your oral health. Always brush and floss thoroughly as you normally would, but work harder to clear food from the gaps of your braces or the bottom of your aligners. With our digital simulations, you can see how your smile will look after treatment. Seeing the end result will make it easier to stick to your treatment plan, and help curb those pesky cravings.

We recommend that you:
  • Brush four times per day
  • Floss both your braces and teeth
  • Replace brushes often
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Use mouthwash
  • Soak and wash removable appliances

Effects of Not Brushing or Flossing

A lack of brushing and flossing during treatment can lead to gum disease (also known as gingivitis). This can cause consistent bad breath and raw, bleeding gums. Teeth can become yellow, discolored and demineralized. Cavities become impossible to prevent. Enamel will start to rot away and can only be fixed by pulling teeth. In general, not taking care of your mouth turns into a painful, expensive predicament.

We’re Here to Help You

If finding the right diet during treatment is a struggle, consult with us. If brushing or flossing is becoming a total chore, send us a message. We want to make your treatment experience easy. Orthodontic care shouldn’t completely disrupt your life. We can give you an informative and helpful checklist of things to eat and how to maintain your oral hygiene. From recipes to mouthwash brands, we’ll make sure every detail is covered.

Have questions?

Worried about whether or not you can eat certain foods? Is brushing or flossing becoming a chore? Please head to our FAQ or blog page. We’ve got a treasure trove of great information that can help you outside of office hours.

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We’re here to help. If our FAQ or blog page hasn’t answered your question, please reach out now. Prentice Orthodontics believes anyone can have a comfortable experience when receiving care. Next to a healthy smile, food is one of the best parts of life. So don’t let treatment get in the way of a delicious meal.


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