Top Foods to Avoid for Braces Safety and Care

Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial when you have braces, but it doesn’t have to be super restrictive. Fortunately, there are numerous food choices that are braces-friendly! So Smiles from the Hart is here to answer this key question: Which foods should I avoid to prevent damage to braces?

Your Choices Are Important

In addition to nutritional considerations, selecting foods that are compatible with braces is crucial to prevent inconvenience and potential expenses for repairs over time. Damage can also prolong your treatment duration, which might already be lengthy depending on your specific orthodontic needs. Braces are made of multiple components, such as wires and brackets, which are particularly susceptible to damage.

What to Avoid

We’ll be covering both bad diet options and good diet options for you today as recommended by Dr. Hart, but let’s start with the bad so you know what to avoid: 

  • Chewy Foods: 
    • Bagels and Dinner Rolls: Despite their soft appearance, breads can be tough or difficult to bite into, placing a strain on your braces.
  • Hard/Crunchy Foods:
    • Hard Candy: Biting down on hard candy can harm your braces.
    • Popcorn: Kernels can get trapped in your braces, causing discomfort and potential damage.
    • Raw Vegetables: Carrots and similar veggies should be sliced into small pieces or avoided altogether.
    • Chips: These can clump together when chewed and are tough to remove from teeth and braces.
  • Sticky Foods:
    • Caramel and Toffee: These can stick to brackets and wires, making them hard to clean.
    • Gum: It can get stuck around components and be challenging to remove.
    • Gummy Candies: These can pull on your braces and dislodge brackets.
  • Other Foods:
    • Tough Meats: Steak or beef jerky will often loosen components.
    • Large Bites of Food: Even seemingly harmless foods can pose issues when taken in large bites. Smaller bites are gentler on your braces.
    • Pizza Crust: This common favorite of kids and teens can stress braces. Consider avoiding the crust to prevent problems.

Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

Good Foods for Braces

Let’s now explore a more thoughtful approach to eating with braces. At Smiles from the Hart, we emphasize that you can maintain a nutritious and delicious diet even with braces! Take note of any allergies or sensitivities, but rest assured, there are often great alternatives that offer similar flavors and textures.

  • Soft Vegetables:
    • Steamed or Cooked Veggies: Carrots, broccoli, potatoes, spinach, and green beans are all excellent choices when tenderized.
    • Avocado: Naturally creamy and easy to eat, as well as beneficial for your health.
  • Soft Fruits:
    • Bananas: Also easy to chew and packed with essential nutrients.
    • Berries: Bite-sized and great to take on the go or in lunches.
    • Melons: Honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon can be cut into cubes or balls. They’re hydrating and ideal for warmer weather.
    • Applesauce: Ideal for apple lovers to enjoy without risking damage to their braces.
  • Soft Proteins:
    • Eggs: Versatile in any preparation—scrambled, fried, boiled, poached.
    • Fish: Soft and flaky varieties like salmon, cod, and tilapia are delicious.
    • Chicken: Boiled, baked, or shredded chicken is much more manageable.
    • Tofu: Very soft and adaptable in various dishes.
  • Dairy/Non-Dairy Products:
    • Yogurt: Versatile and available in various flavors.
    • Soft Cheeses: Brie, goat cheese, or cottage cheese can elevate many dishes.
  • Beans, Grains, Pasta:
    • Cooked Pasta: Can be enhanced with different sauces or proteins.
    • Rice: A staple in global cuisine. Experiment with various types for diverse flavors.
  • Sweets and Snacks:
    • Smoothies: Naturally sweet and can incorporate fruits, veggies, and yogurt.
    • Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt: Enjoyable treats, but be sure to consume them in moderation due to their high sugar content.
    • Soft Baked Goods: Muffins, pancakes, or cupcakes are easy to consume, but enjoy sparingly.

Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

FAQs About Eating with Braces

Q: What should I do if a wire or bracket breaks?

Always contact Smiles from the Hart right away if any damage occurs to an appliance. Never try to repair it on your own, it should be looked at by professionals only.

Q: Will braces affect my ability to taste food?

They shouldn’t! You might notice slight changes in the very beginning, moreso due to the new presence of braces in your mouth. Over time, these sensations should adjust.

Q: How can I ensure I’m getting enough nutrition with braces?

Focus on a balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, protein, and dairy products, if tolerated. You can ask Dr. Hart more questions if you have any. There are also many great resources and blogs online to help with recipes and meal-planning with braces.

Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

Smart and Healthy

Our team at Smiles from the Hart aims to make life with braces as simple and happy as possible, including helping you make excellent food choices! If you have any further questions for Dr. Hart or our team, don’t hesitate to contact our wonderful Murfreesboro or Gallatin offices.