How To Eat With Braces Comfortably

Whether you just got your braces or have been wearing them for months, orthodontic treatment often requires adapting your eating habits. Here are some tips on how to eat with braces comfortably to enjoy a healthy diet.

What To Eat First Week With Braces


When you first get your braces, it takes a while to get used to their look and feel. As a result, you might find it difficult to know what to eat. In fact, you might feel enough discomfort to not even want to eat at all. However, the first thing we recommend is to take an over-the-counter pain medication before your braces appointment to help with the initial discomfort of having your braces applied.

This will help keep you comfortable. Next, for the first day or two, you will experience sensitivity, so it’s best to stick to soft foods and your favourite cold beverages. Soft foods like mashed potatoes or soup require less chewing to keep discomfort to a minimum, while cold beverages can help numb the pain. The same goes for soft, frozen foods like ice cream.

After you start to feel more comfortable, you can include more foods, but continue to avoid anything too hard or chewy. Also, you can cut your food into smaller pieces to make it easier to chew. Some good choices the first week with braces include:

  • Soft bread (no crusts!)
  • Pancakes
  • Small wraps with soft ingredients like peanut butter, guacamole, or cheese spreads
  • Soft cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Pasta
  • Steamed veggies
  • Tender meats in small bites
  • Stew and soup
  • Applesauce
  • Ripe, soft fruits in small pieces
  • Fish
  • Hummus
  • Eggs
  • Pudding
  • Tofu

 What Can’t You Eat With Braces?


Sometimes, it’s easier to list what you can’t eat than what you can eat. The foods you can’t eat with braces include:

  • Nuts
  • Potato chips
  • Popcorn
  • Crunchy raw veggies
  • Hard and very sticky, chewy candies
  • Gum
  • Corn on the cob
  • Beef jerky
  • Pizza crust
  • Bagels and other hard rolls
  • Crunchy vegetables and fruits
  • Hard crackers
  • Pretzels

 What Foods Are Likely To Cause Embarrassment With Braces?


Foods that are more likely to get caught in your teeth are going to be the foods most likely to cause embarrassment with braces. As mentioned above, sticky foods are not advisable, but things like green spinach, parsley, or meat can be smile culprits when wearing braces.

 What Foods Are Best For Braces?


As we said, the trick is to know the foods to avoid so you have a better idea of the foods you can eat. Since the ‘avoid’ list is much shorter than the ‘eat’ list, we recommend testing the waters with the allowable foods, and experiment to see which ones work for you and which don’t. You still need to eat a well-balanced diet, so find ways to enjoy your share of all food groups. You can start to get a feel for the foods that are easiest to eat and become better and better at planning meals around them.

 Tips And Tricks On How To Eat With Braces


There are some tips and tricks that can help make it more comfortable to eat with braces, including:

  • Cut food up: Enjoying more challenging foods can be easier when you cut your food up into smaller pieces.
  • Choose softer options: If you want to enjoy foods you love, consider softer options that will provide the same flavours. For example, if eating tacos, choose soft tortilla wraps instead of the crunchy shells. If you love big sandwiches, choose a softer roll like Hawaiian rolls or hamburger buns, over crusty rolls like panini or ciabatta.
  • Slice instead of bite: Enjoying fruit or harder fresh veggies is a must to maintain your health. Instead of biting into these foods and risking damage to your braces, slice them thinly to chew as smaller bites.

 Eating With Braces Dos And Don’ts


It also helps to understand the dos and don’ts of eating with braces, such as:

Do choose healthy foods: Regardless of what foods you choose, always opt for healthier foods over less healthy choices. For example, it might be tempting to eat lots of ice cream and pudding because it’s soft, but yogurt is better.

Don’t chew anything but food: This might sound odd, but whether you chew on pens, bite your nails, or love to chomp ice, these habits are all bad for your teeth and braces!

Do carry some floss when dining out: When eating out, you don’t want to be caught with food in your braces. Carrying floss with you can help loosen caught food, as can interproximal toothbrushes and pre-threaded floss.

Don’t be tempted at the movie theatre: Movies just aren’t the same without a box of popcorn and some candy. However, as mentioned, the last thing you should be eating with braces is these types of snacks. Some better choices include:

  • Cookie dough bites
  • Raisinettes
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Junior Mints
  • Soft Pretzels
  • Slushies
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate

 Dental Hygiene Tips After Eating With Braces


After eating with braces, you might feel more aware of food caught in your teeth. As a result, the following dental hygiene tips are helpful:

  • Brushing after meals: Although you might be tempted to brush your teeth immediately after eating, it’s best to wait 30 minutes. Instead, you can rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating and then wait a while before brushing to remove debris from the extra nooks and crannies you have from wearing braces. Brushing right away forces sugar and acids from the food you’ve just eaten into your enamel, so rinsing and waiting is best.
  • Use an interdental brush: If carrying around a toothbrush and toothpaste sounds like too much trouble, carry an interdental brush instead. They can be used immediately to remove obvious food trapped in brackets and before brushing. They also fit conveniently in your pocket!
  • Check your teeth in the mirror: Check your teeth in the mirror to make sure you’ve caught everything. You can also consider using a dental mirror to get a better look at the back teeth and hard-to-see areas.
  • Floss: Floss is always helpful after enjoying a meal. As mentioned, you might find orthodontic flossers or floss threaders are easier to use to remove anything caught in your braces. Go easy to avoid damaging your wires or your gums.
  • Rinse: Rinsing is a great way to loosen debris in your braces and between your teeth. Keeping a travel-sized bottle of your favourite antiseptic mouthwash keeps your breath smelling fresh while reducing inflammation caused by your braces.

These tips should make eating with braces easier so you can maintain a healthy diet, avoid damaging your braces, and experience less discomfort.

Call us today at 905-775-5307 or click here to request an appointment.


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