Your straight smile journey is an exciting adventure, but getting braces can come with a major learning curve. From learning how to brush and floss around the brackets and wires to remembering to reapply your rubber bands after lunch, there’s much more to braces than meets the eye. One of the biggest challenges that our traditional braces and InBrace patients face is avoiding foods that will harm their appliances.
With so many new dietary restrictions, you might be wondering, “What can you eat with braces?” Fortunately, avoiding harmful foods isn’t as hard as you might think. Chamberlain Family Orthodontics is here to help you navigate the dos and don’ts of braces-friendly foods, so keep reading to learn all about it. Plus, we’ve got a CFO-approved recipe that you’ll love!
Why does eating the right foods matter?
We all love our favorite foods, and we know it can be hard to part from them. While it might feel difficult to do, it’s important to follow all of the dietary guidelines Dr. Chamberlain sets for you throughout your treatment process. It’s also essential to understand why avoiding certain foods matters.
Extra Office Visits
Braces may be made out of metal, but they’re still delicate devices that require a lot of care and attention. Eating sticky or crunchy foods can weaken the bonds that hold the brackets to your teeth and might even dislodge them altogether. If you don’t follow the dietary recommendations, you could end up with a broken bracket or bent wire, and you’ll have to visit our office to fix your braces.
Longer Treatment Times
Broken braces are more than just inconvenient – they could affect your entire treatment journey. Bent or broken appliances don’t work until they’re fixed, and if they aren’t working, they aren’t aligning your teeth. That means you could wear your braces for even longer – up to two months per bracket – and no one wants to do that! Sticking with the right foods can help you stay on track for the end goal: a straight smile in a reasonable amount of time.
Keep These Foods Off the Menu
To protect your braces from food-related breakage, you need to avoid any foods that are crunchy, chewy, sticky, or hard. You’ll also want to stay away from food that you have to bite directly into, like corn on the cob or ribs, as these foods put too much pressure on the braces and could cause them to break or detach from your teeth. Here are a few examples of what not to eat when going through orthodontic treatment:
- Crunchy Foods: popcorn, ice, or chips
- Chewy Foods: licorice or bagels
- Sticky Foods: taffy or caramel
- Hard Foods: pretzels or nuts
It can feel like a challenge avoiding so many of your favorite foods, but remember: it’s not forever! Once you see your straight smile in the mirror, it will all be worth it.
Try These Foods Instead
There are so many braces-friendly foods for you to try, and many of your favorites are probably on this list! The rule of thumb is the softer, the better. Remember that you want to apply as little resistance to your brackets and wires as possible to keep them from breaking. Here are some braces-friendly foods that you can keep on the menu while the Chamberlain Family Orthodontics team straightens your smile:
- Pasta (thank goodness!)
- Mashed potatoes
- Soft pretzels
- Soft vegetables
- Soft cheese
- Ice cream
Many of these soft, braces-friendly foods also double as after-adjustment snacks to help you avoid discomfort after a tightening appointment. When your teeth feel sore, just pick one of the foods off this list and enjoy!
Tip: If you’re a huge fan of foods like chicken wings or corn on the cob, you don’t have to stop eating these altogether! Instead of biting directly into these foods like you would without braces, pull them off the bone or cob, or cut your food into bite-sized pieces to avoid harming your braces.
Braces-Friendly Sausage Tortellini Soup Recipe
This soup is perfect for patients with braces. It will serve four people and comes straight from the kitchen of Mrs. Chamberlain! Be sure to try it out, and let us know what you think!
½ pound Italian sausage (removed from the casing)
2 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
4-6 cups chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes
½ cup white wine
1 zucchini (finely chopped)
1 large carrot (finely chopped)
2 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
1 9-ounce package of three-cheese tortellini
fresh grated asiago or parmesan cheese
- In a large nonstick skillet, use a spatula to break up the sausage and cook on medium-high for 7-10 minutes until it is browned and crumbled. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage from the skillet.
- In a Dutch oven, sauté garlic and onion in canola oil until they are translucent. Add browned sausage, chicken broth, roasted tomatoes, chopped vegetables, wine and seasoning to the pot.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are al dente.
- Add tortellini to the pot and cook for about 7 minutes.
- Garnish with freshly grated cheese and enjoy!
Chamberlain Family Orthodontics: Your Choice for a Beautiful Smile
Not every food works for braces patients, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up delicious treats! By following Dr. C’s and Dr. A’s instructions, you can keep your braces treatment on track for success.