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Are you excited to get your braces? It can certainly be an exciting time, knowing you’re well on your way to the smile you’ve always wanted. The success of your braces treatment, whether it’s with metal braces or clear braces, depends as much on you as it does on us. There are things you must do, such as regular brushing and flossing, wearing your rubber bands, and keeping up with your regular office visits with us. There are also things you cannot do, such as eat certain foods. 

Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics has a list of foods that you can’t eat with braces, foods that you can eat carefully, and a list of foods you can eat with braces. We know you may miss the foods on the no-no list, but keep in mind that it’s all TEMPORARY. With a little patience and a lot of compliance, you’ll be out of your braces in no time and can go back to enjoying all foods again. 

How Long After Getting Braces Can You Eat Solid Food?

Your mouth may be a bit sore the first few days after you get your braces. That’s normal as your mouth learns how braces feel and allows your teeth to begin moving. We recommend sticking to eating soft foods the first few days after getting your braces. Have a milkshake or protein smoothie for dinner that night, then stick to soft foods the next day, such as mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, or cottage cheese. Rinse your mouth several times a day with warm salt water to ease the soreness and swelling. 

After a few days, the soreness should disappear. You should be able to go back to solid foods after a couple of days. If you’re still sore after a week, give us a call. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible. 

What Can You Eat With Braces?

Yes, there are foods to avoid with braces, but let’s start with the good list first. There are lots of great foods you can enjoy with braces! Chicken, steak, cooked vegetables, sliced fruits — desserts! Let’s take a look at a list of some of the many, many foods you can enjoy with braces. 

  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans, cooked squash/zucchini
  • Fruit —soft fruits like applesauce, bananas, fruit juices, gelatin snacks, diced fruit snacks
  • Grains — cooked pasta, soft-cooked rice, cooked quinoa, cooked oatmeal
  • Deli Meats — thin-sliced turkey, roast beef, and ham; hot dogs; bologna
  • Poultry — roasted or smoked turkey, baked chicken, rotisserie chicken
  • Drinkable foods — milkshakes, protein shakes, smoothies
  • Dairy — soft cheese, grated cheese, butter, cottage cheese
  • Soft breads and pastries — tortillas, pancakes, nut-free muffins, plain white bread, whole wheat white bread, cinnamon roll, biscuits
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes, lobster, crawfish, tilapia
  • Desserts — cake, soft cookies, cheesecake, mousse, pudding, pies, ice cream

What Can You Eat (Carefully) With Braces?

Some foods are OK to eat if you eat them a certain way. It may require cutting them into small pieces or stripping them from bones, but there’s no point in missing out on foods you love if you don’t have to, right? 

Here are a few examples of what foods you can eat with braces with proper care. 

  • BBQ meats: You might love to have some smoked, barbecue ribs, but eating them straight off the bone could damage your braces. The fix? Pull the meat off the bone and chew it carefully. The same goes for other BBQ meats, including pork and chicken. 
  • Pizza: Pizza crust that’s soft, such as deep-dish, is fine for your braces. Thin-crust pizza may be too hard and could damage brackets or wires. Even hand-tossed crust may be too chewy and could cause damage. Go for the softer crust option, and toss those “pizza bones” for now. You can always go back to eating them after your braces are off!
  • Fruits: Fruits that require biting with your front teeth, such as apples, pears, or peaches, should be enjoyed in small slices instead. That way, you don’t run the risk of popping a bracket off your front teeth. Watch out for strawberries, too. Those tiny seeds can get in your brackets, so be sure to brush well after enjoying strawberries!
  • Steak or pork chops: Nothing beats a tender, juicy steak, but if it’s not very tender, it could cause problems with your braces. The solution for these meats is to cut them into very small bites and chew them carefully. You should be able to enjoy them that way!
  • Multigrain bread: If the grain is fully ground into the bread, it should be OK to eat. You don’t want to eat bread with large grains in them, because the grains can damage your braces or get stuck in them.
  • Corn: You may love corn on the cob, but that cob could pop off a bracket! Cut the corn off the cob before eating it.  
  • Frozen desserts: Don’t bite into hard popsicles or waffle cones, but a soft ice cream sandwich should be just fine!

You get the idea, right? Smaller bites and careful chewing will allow you to enjoy foods like these. Still, there are some foods that just won’t work with braces. 

What Can You Not Eat With Braces?

You have a lot of great foods to enjoy with your braces, but there are some foods to avoid with braces, too. These foods can cause damage to braces, such as breaking wires or loosening or popping brackets. Other foods can cause particles to become lodged in your braces, such as popcorn kernels, and they can be very difficult to remove. Chewy foods can pull your wires away from your brackets or out of the bands on your back molars. In short, avoid these foods with braces! 

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice, taffy, pizza crust, gummy bears or “gummy” anything, jerky, baguettes, taffy, jelly candies like Hot Tamales or Skittles
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, tortilla chips, ice, hard cookies, parmesan “crackers,” Doritos, hard breadsticks
  • Sticky foods — gum, caramel candies, certain snack bars such as granola bars, protein bars, and oat and other cereal bars
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies, sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds, raw grains such as oats
  • Foods that require front bite — apples, carrots, corn on the cob, pears (whole), peaches (whole)

Braces Questions in Topeka, KS

We’ve covered a lot of different types of foods here, but you may have more questions. That’s OK! We’re used to getting all kinds of questions about braces. The team at Wilson & Hendrickson is here for you and ready to answer whatever questions you may have about your braces. If you have a question, contact us and we will be happy to provide the answer! If you do eat the wrong foods and need braces repair in Topeka, KS, we can schedule an appointment if necessary to make those repairs. Until then, be careful with what you eat!

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