Got a hankering for something sweet, salty or savory? No problem. You can still enjoy some of your favorite grub when you get braces.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a healthy diet to support the biological changes you’ll experience when you wear braces. That includes soups and stews, pasta and casseroles, and scrambled eggs.
For snack attacks, take a look at our list of friendly (and not-so-friendly) treats:
Patients with traditional or ceramic braces
Munch on these:
- Breads—pancakes, soft tortillas, nut-free muffins
- Dairy—pudding, soft cheeses, yogurt
- Fruit—applesauce, bananas, raspberries
- Hummus, bean dip
- Meats/poultry—meatballs, lunch meats, soft-cooked chicken
- Seafood—tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Sweets—milkshakes, frozen yogurt, smoothies
- Veggies—soften any vegetable by steaming or boiling
Take a break from these:
- Chewy or sticky foods—gum, bagels, gummies, caramels
- Crunchy snacks—ice, chips, popcorn, pretzels, tortilla chips
- Hard nibbles—nuts, candies, lollipops
- Foods you bite into—apples, carrots, corn on the cob
You can munch on apples if you cut them into small pieces. Same goes for pizza and sandwiches. You can also cut corn off the cob before eating.
As for beverages, drink tap water and milk. Avoid:
- Tea, coffee, red wine. They can stain teeth.
- Regular and diet soda, sports drinks, energy beverages, fruit juices and punches. They contain acids or sugars that break down tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Always brush or rinse your mouth with water if you do gulp anything besides milk and water.
Patients with aligners
You’ve got more flexibility if you wear aligners. Nothing is off limits, but a healthy diet is best. Just take your aligners out before you eat, and clean your teeth thoroughly before putting your aligners back in.
Water is the only beverage you should drink when your aligners are in. Remove them if you want to quench your thirst with something else like a diet soda or a sports drink. Brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in.
Be smart when you snack. Get the smile you want while satisfying your cravings.