Whether you need braces or your child does, straightening teeth is great choice to improve your bite, keep your mouth healthy, and shape a smile you’ll love.
But we understand that you may have some concerns about getting braces, such as what you can or can’t eat while getting treatment to straighten your teeth.
Types of Braces
What you can eat when wearing braces depends on the type of straightening treatment you choose. We offer these treatments to make your or your child’s smile look its best, including:
- Metal braces
What’s the best choice for you? That depends on your, or your child’s, individual straightening needs, as well as choices based on the amount of time treatment is necessary and treatment cost.
What Are the Best Foods to Eat When Wearing Metal Braces?
If you’ve chosen traditional metal braces, there are many delicious kinds of food you can eat without causing any problems. Of course, there are some foods that you should avoid - which we will address shortly. But first, look at all the food choices that you can have.
These foods include:
- Dairy products, such as cheese and milk drinks
- Breads, like soft tortillas (avoid crunchy kinds) pancakes, muffins (but hold the nuts)
- Grains are also fine to eat, including pasta of all kinds and soft rice
- Meats, poultry, and seafood such as chicken, lunch meat, una, salmon, crab cakes and meatballs
- Vegetables, like cooked peas, steamed spinach, beans, and cooked carrots
- Fruits, like applesauce, bananas, soft, sliced, skinless fruits, and fruit juices
- Treats, such as ice cream, cake (keep it soft,) milkshakes, pudding, and Jell-o
Foods You Should Skip When Wearing Traditional Metal Braces
Some food items are missing from the list of foods you can eat. There’s a good reason for that. If you choose metal braces to straighten your teeth, avoid items that could damage or get stuck in your braces, such as:
- Hard foods, including nuts and hard candies
- Chewy foods, like licorice, steaks, or bagels
- Crunchy foods, including chips, ice, or popcorn
- Sticky foods like caramels as well as gum
- Foods you must bite into, like raw carrots, apples or corn on the cob
Each of these types of food could damage your braces.
Foods to Eat Moderately When Wearing Invisalign Aligners
Although Invisalign plastic aligner trays can be removed and must be removed when you eat, there are still foot items to eat in moderation when you’re receiving treatment. But, the most important rule is to remove those Invisalign trays before eating.
But you should also:
- Moderate acidic foods or pair them with base foods, so if you have pasta with an acidic tomato sauce, as an example, add a glass of milk with your meal or leafy greens as a base food, so your aligner trays will not be damaged when you replace them in your mouth.
- Moderate sticky candies or hard foods that might potentially push teeth out of alignment again.
- Moderate sodas and coffee.
- Always be sure to drink plenty of water after eating, to wash away any bad bacteria.
- Smoking, alcohol, and gum are also bad ideas, because the residue each creates can remain on your teeth, yellowing aligner trays or getting stuck on them.