And some delicious alternatives!
Wearing braces will mean some small adjustments in your diet, but that certainly doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself of all the delicious meals you love.
There are a few main types of foods to avoid that can damage your braces:
- Hard/Crunchy – anything you have to bite into, like an apple or corn on the cob, as well as especially crispy foods like nacho chips
- Sticky – things like caramel or candy can also pull at the brackets of your braces, and generally get caught in your appliance causing damage to teeth
- Chewy – dense types of bread like bagels or pizza crust can be surprisingly damaging to your braces, even if they seem quite soft
So, what can you eat? And how can you replace some of your favourite snacks while you have braces? Here are a few of our tips.
While avoiding crunchy sugar coated cereal, try oatmeal instead:
Breakfast cereals, especially the hard sugary kind, can break or bend your braces. For a sweet meal in the morning, add honey or maple syrup to oatmeal.
While avoiding hard veggies like carrots and celery, try softer fruits and veggies cut into smaller pieces:
You definitely don’t need to avoid fruits and veggies entirely – and shouldn’t! – but substituting softer alternatives like strawberries for apples, or even blending harder vegetables and fruits into a smoothy is an easy solution.
While avoiding chewy candies like Starburst, try frozen yogurt instead:
Looking for a fun snack but don’t want to risk the damage of caramels and other chewy candies? Ice cream and frozen yogurt is a great replacement, and may also help with discomfort if your dental appliance has recently been adjusted.
While avoiding crispy pizza crust, try a grilled cheese sandwich instead:
The dense texture of pizza crust can create a lot of strain on your braces! To satisfy your craving for something warm and cheesy, make a grilled cheese with soft bread. Don’t overcook the sandwich, as especially toasted bread can also be an issue for your braces.
While avoiding tough to chew meats like well done steak, instead try fish – and a few other BBQ alternatives:
Steak and other red meats can be damaging to braces, and also very difficult to clean out from in and around your wires and brackets. Substitute softer meats like fish, and be sure to remove chicken from the bone before eating.
For a complete meal that everyone can enjoy, add these tasty side dishes: substitute mashed potatoes or a garden salad (no croutons!) for corn on the cob, and try a pasta salad or veggie skewers instead of nachos and potato chips.
Remember – any damage to your braces will slow down the process of transforming your smile. By making smart food choices, you can help ensure your braces are doing their job!