teen girl smiles with braces

What Can You Eat With Braces?

Team Orthodontics

Whether you need braces or your child does, straightening teeth can improve more than just your bite. Having a smile you love can boost your self-confidence as well as contributing to better oral health over time.

But, all the same, you may have a few concerns about getting braces - including what you can eat when you’re wearing them.

Different Types of Braces

What you can eat when you wear braces depends in part on the type of treatment plan you choose. We offer a number of straightening  treatments to make your or your child’s smile look great, including: 

  • Metal braces
  • Invisalign

The best braces for you depends on your, or your child’s individual straightening needs, as well as the choices you make regarding the amount of time necessary for treatment and cost of treatment.

The Best Foods to Eat When Wearing Metal Braces

If you’re wearing traditional metal braces, there are plenty of delicious foods you can eat with no problem at all. Sure, there are some types of food you should avoid - and we’ll get to those in a moment - but first take a look at all the tasty and good-for-you foods you can consume.

These include: 

  • Dairy products, like cheese, pudding, and milk drinks
  • Breads, such as soft tortillas (skip the crunchy kind,) pancakes, muffins (but skip the nuts)
  • Grains are also fine to eat, including pasta of all kinds and soft rice
  • Meats and poultry, including chicken, meatballs, and lunch meat are all fine to consume;  seafood dishes like tuna, salmon, or crab cakes are also good to eat
  • Vegetables, including steamed spinach, beans, and softly cooked carrots
  • Fruits, including applesauce, bananas, and soft skinless fruits, as well as fruit juices
  • Treats, like ice cream, soft cake, milkshakes, pudding, and gelatin

Foods You Should Pass On When Wearing Traditional Metal Braces

But, as you can tell, some food items are missing from this list. If you choose metal braces, there are some things it’s best to avoid eating, such as:

  • Hard foods, like nuts or hard candies
  • Chewy foods, such as licorice or bagels
  • Crunchy foods, like chips, ice, or popcorn
  • Sticky foods such as caramels or chewing gum
  • Foods you bite into, like corn on the cob, carrots, or apples 

Each of these types of food could damage your braces. Plus, with sticky foods, you’ll find it harder to remove food debris and build up.

Foods You Can and Can’t Eat Wearing Invisalign Aligners

Although Invisalign plastic aligner trays can and should always be removed when you eat, there are still some foods that are best for you to eat,  and those you should not during treatment.

But, first and most important: always remove those Invisalign trays before you eat. 

Stay away from acidic foods or pair with base foods, for example, if you have pasta with acidic marinara sauce, add something like a glass of milk with your meal or leafy greens so your aligner trays will not be damaged when you replace them in your mouth again.  

Avoid sticky candies or hard foods that could push your teeth out of alignment again. 

What you drink is equally important. We recommend avoiding 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 nos, as the residue from any of these can remain on your teeth and get stuck on your Invisalign trays or yellow them. 

Ready to Learn More About Straightening Your Teeth?

If you’re ready to learn more about braces or aligners, as well as what you should or shouldn’t eat when your teeth are being straightened, reach out to us today! We’re ready to help!