What to Eat With Braces

braces

Hi folks,

My son just got braces and we’d like your advice on foods to eat in the first few days and then going forward for the next 9-12 months.

The Orthodontist said that the teeth and gums will be sore and sensitive for a few days, so liquids will play a big role in the diet.  So we’ve made some extra soup and will be thinning out yogurt with some water to turn it into a lassi drink. And some orange juice as a treat.

But what happens after week? For example, do we stop eating granola in the morning? Or nuts as a snack? or carrot sticks and bell peppers?

My son is a decent eater, so shoot away with helpful suggestions.

Thanks in advance,

-Hemi

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  • Graysons_mom

    From what I can remember, when I has braces all the way back in 1998-2001, I liked ice cream/Popsicles the first two weeks. Anything cold really. I still ate everything I loved, nuts, granola, candy, lettuce, spaghetti, EVERYTHING! Soup, yogurt (thinned and unthinned), ice cream, mashed potatoes, soft foods were best the first two weeks as well as everytime they got tightened. Also, I recommend getting a braces brush, it looks like a mini bottle brush, that has a pivotal head for cleaning I between the braces! Brush and use that after every meal! Good luck!! :-)

    • Shaun

      I had braces and I found out that you can eat Trident gum because it is not as sticky as regular gum.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lisa-Lambert/703940981 Lisa Lambert

    I have braces and have adjusted pretty well although some days I hate them.  The first couple of days after tightening, I eat soft foods like egg salad for lunch.  Yogurt is okay but I didn’t like the roughness on my teeth so I drink Kefir and lassi is good too.  Also after those first couple of days, drink cold things because it won’t be as painful.  Soups, oatmeal, orange slices.  I used to eat salads all the time, but the chewing was too much of a workout, so I have soft foods for lunch – something that doesn’t require lots of chewing.  Hope this helps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stacey-Renee-Hutcheson-Harris/1102833051 Stacey Renee Hutcheson Harris

    how old is your child ? My daughter was in 2nd grade when she got her braces, she first had a Herbst appliance and then the appliance and braces.– The only things that we did remove from her diet was popcorn, gum and sticky candy stuff.. (She doesn’t eat candy much anyways– so that wasn’t a  tough thing) The only thing that she really missed was popcorn. I also let her know that she was allowed to have two days of liquid lunches if needed — on the days that they would adjust her teeth. She is a good kid and she didn’t abuse the privilege. I would send her to school and then later I would make her a homemade milkshake–(I even delivered it to school) I would use wheat germ, fruits,veggies,soy or rice milk,honestly I put whatever I could in her milkshake… I didn’t get complaints! The only time she complained is when I would make her brush her teeth more than once an evening!  Good Luck!  Our orthodontist was very good about being positive and suggesting simple real world life style changes.

  • Guest

    I had braces as an adult. The main problem I had was crunchy breakfast cereal, so I got in the habit of putting it in the mic for 30 seconds to warm/soften it. Years after my braces came off, I still do this just because I like it.

  • A Longenbaugh

    I have braces right now and just had them adjusted the other day so I myself am a tad sore. First let me sugest that you take him to get something good to eat right after he gets them worked on before the pain sets in. I pretty much eat softer foods the first few days and then I eat normally minus the carrots and apple unless sliced. I even eat popcorn. But like other posters said soup is good and anythig cold but he needs to bite on something to work the soreness out. I promise it helps. I was given a little bite plate to kinda bite down on.

  • Carrie Ann

    Great question! I have braces right now, as does my husband. I also happen to be a dentist. For the first days after we each got our appliances on, we ate a lot of things like pastas and soups. Now, there really isn’t much we don’t eat. I have even had corn on the cob (I don’t recommend it!). Things that are very hard and crunchy like nuts and carrot sticks should be avoided because they can actually pop off the brackets. I also avoid things like baguette type bread and things that are tough to bite into.

    I don’t see why you would have to give up granola, unless it has a lot of nuts in it. Occasionally we have granola in our yogurt.Some of my favorite braces friendly snacks are yogurt with fresh berries, cold and hot cereal, oranges, Tortilla roll ups. Bell pepper strips and cucumbers with dip. Smoothies make a great breakfast. One thing I recommend is to get a Waterpik (or similar device). I LOVE it! It makes keeping braces clean so much easier! Also get some proxy brushes to clean around the brackets. These are great for after lunch at school when brushing just isn’t cool!

  • Carrie Ann

    Great question! I have braces right now, as does my husband. I also happen to be a dentist. For the first days after we each got our appliances on, we ate a lot of things like pastas and soups. Now, there really isn’t much we don’t eat. I have even had corn on the cob (I don’t recommend it!). Things that are very hard and crunchy like nuts and carrot sticks should be avoided because they can actually pop off the brackets. I also avoid things like baguette type bread and things that are tough to bite into.

    I don’t see why you would have to give up granola, unless it has a lot of nuts in it. Occasionally we have granola in our yogurt.Some of my favorite braces friendly snacks are yogurt with fresh berries, cold and hot cereal, oranges, Tortilla roll ups. Bell pepper strips and cucumbers with dip. Smoothies make a great breakfast. One thing I recommend is to get a Waterpik (or similar device). I LOVE it! It makes keeping braces clean so much easier! Also get some proxy brushes to clean around the brackets. These are great for after lunch at school when brushing just isn’t cool!

  • Summer Summernight Clapp48

    I just got braces and I am acally wondering what to eat. If you are looking for something for pain ice cream is reeeeeellllllley good. Did your son get spacers? Because if he did tell him that it helps to eat bananas. They are nice and soft and if you put them in the fridge or freezer you can help with the pain again.
    –Fawn

  • http://skinny-vegan-food.blogspot.com/ Claire

    Anything soft! Smoothies, soups, juices, anything cooked well like mashed potato/pasta. It will pass, the only time you’ll need to worry is when they get tightened. Personally I ate everything I usually ate when I had braces and never ran into any problems (the only thing my ortho told me to avoid was chewy sugary lollies but that’s a given) The thing I found was using your back teeth as opposed to crunching through with your front ones always helps, oh and cutting things up. The only other thing to worry about it getting things stuck in them!
    Hope your son feels better soon :)

  • Anne

    When I had braces (back in the 90s– wow, I’m dating myself!!), I remember the first few days been pretty sensitive ones.  But I never had a problem with hard foods after that– I ate apples, carrots, nuts, etc.  I *do* remember having to eat differently– I cut apples into slices and I started tearing my sandwiches into smaller, bite-sized pieces.  I had a bigger problem with things getting stuck in my braces during the day than I had with not being able to chew certain foods.  Those floss “brushes” they make are super helpful to keep in a locker for after lunches– flossing with them can help eliminate the fear of walking around with a bit of food stuck in your braces all afternoon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heidi-Hall/607570309 Heidi Hall

    I had braces and I ate most of what I normally did, except biting into an apple or corn isnt a good idea.. also gum. i chewed some once and it really does get stuck a bit in braces *LOL*   otherwise, nuts etc should be fine if eaten with the back molars.. braces are pretty tough.. as for while sore, anything soft.. soup works too.. 

  • Nancy Ortiz

    When my oldest daughter got hers as a teenager – she got them the day before Thanksgiving. She ate a whole Thanksgiving dinner the next day – no problems!!! As a Dietitian, I was ready, but she obviously didn’t need my help.

  • http://brightweightloss.blogspot.com/ Dreena

    Well — we maxed out our free broken things replacements and learned a few lessons;  NO tortilla chips, SLICED apples only, very thin carrot sticks only.  We had a few close calls with the “strings” on celery.  The ones she broke were ALL broken on corn chips. No, we don’t eat them regularly!

  • Joe

    I got “6-month braces” last September as an adult to correct some crowding and bite issues. The first month, I followed the list that they gave me about “what not to eat” pretty good. After a couple weeks, I started eating regularly again. I think about the only things I’ve totally avoided have been certain hard/gooey candies, chewing gum, that sort of stuff. I’ve eaten nuts, granola bars (had one this morning!), carrots, pizza, etc etc. The key seems to be small bites and cutting/breaking things up so you do not need to bite into things. They told me to do this so I didn’t pop off the “O-rings” (I think that’s what they’re called) or the actually bracket. I’ve only popped off an O-ring once during the 3rd month while biting into a sandwich, and had to go back to get a new one put back on (2 minutes). Also the whole sensitive teeth thing plays a part. For a day or two after the monthly visits where they check/adjust/tighten, my teeth are very sensitive and it’s hard to chew things. Only soft foods and liquids those days! I had an adjustment just last Wednesday and my teeth bothered me until last Friday or Saturday. After that I was biting into things and having pretty normal meals again. Hope that helps.

    • Altheabuhler

      Joe, what r 6month braces?

      • Joe

        There are adult cosmetic braces that help to straighten your teeth quickly …in about 6 months. I’m on month 5 and they’re actually working (I had my doubts). If you’ve seen “6 Month Smiles” or “Want straight teeth by your next cleaning?” posters in your dentist’s office, then they probably offer it as a service. I think the company web site is: http://www.6monthsmiles.com – if I’m not mistaken, they’re the ones who create the hardware and technology for dentists to use.

  • Colleen Earp

    As much as I hate to be wasteful, plastic spoons really helped me whenever I had my braces tweaked (I had them for 6.5 years, so a short term diet change was not an option). Scrambled eggs, pasta, applesauce, yogurt, beans, and baby food got me through the hardest moments (baby food because I craved veggies that were painful to chew).

  • MrBillWest

    I didn’t eat corn on the cob for two years. Didn’t have this recipe around then, but it might (?) be a nice alternative: 
    http://ruhlman.com/2010/09/baked-buttered-corn-2/. And the butter could be reduced or removed.

    Also just have some corn bread stuffing as part of dinner. Nice and soft. Good enough to be a meal. Just chop the ingredients to a small size. My small daugther with only a few teeth handled it jsut fine.

    Flaky fish can also be easy to eat. Depends on the fish. Poaching might be nice.

    Oooo… maybe grits! Yummy!

  • ADuymich22

    When I got braces I ate a lot of Mac n cheese at first =)

  • Kelli

    Other than avoiding hard to chew foods due to soreness after getting them on and adjustments I ate just about everything, including caramel and chewy candies and never broke any pieces. The think I had trouble with was stringy foods. I can’t count the number of times I almost choked on cooked spinach or spaghetti noodles because they got caught and then i tried to swallow. I think everyone has a different experience so go with comfort. If it’s too hard to eat granola then don’t do it. If he can manage go ahead.

  • Gmacias1988

    I have braces. Stay away from beef jerky and tough meats. Chips and Cheetos can not only damage, but can also stain (if he has white rubber bands). Yes it can be difficult at first. Don’t worry he will get used to it. If your son likes nuts, you can chop them up. Same with apples. Just tell your kid to stay away from chewy and extremely crunchy foods.

  • Gmacias1988

    And make him carry toothpicks or dental floss. Warning: almost everything he will eat will get stuck in his braces. Not fun

  • http://www.andydidyk.com/ Andy Didyk

    Hi everyone!  As an adult that recently got my (second) set of braces off, I must tell you something even more important than eating.  You NEED to buy an Oral Breeze from Amazon.  It’s about $30, and uses your faucet to blast food particles from your teeth after eating.  Trust me – even responsible adults (let alone children) won’t floss with braces because it can take 20-30 minutes.  This thing rocks!  I can’t recommend it highly enough and I sincerely hope you check it out for his mouth’s sake. 

    As far as foods go, I’ve found that almond butter and jelly sandwiches are a classic that makes things easy to chew.  Give your son a week or two, and he’ll be eating everything he normally does as he’ll get used to having the metal in his mouth. 

  • http://www.andydidyk.com/ Andy Didyk

    Hi everyone!  As an adult that recently got my (second) set of braces off, I must tell you something even more important than eating.  You NEED to buy an Oral Breeze from Amazon.  It’s about $30, and uses your faucet to blast food particles from your teeth after eating.  Trust me – even responsible adults (let alone children) won’t floss with braces because it can take 20-30 minutes.  This thing rocks!  I can’t recommend it highly enough and I sincerely hope you check it out for his mouth’s sake. 

    As far as foods go, I’ve found that almond butter and jelly sandwiches are a classic that makes things easy to chew.  Give your son a week or two, and he’ll be eating everything he normally does as he’ll get used to having the metal in his mouth. 

  • Chamberlain_jd

    I have braces. You can eat anything, but if u eat fruit or veggies cut them up in small bite size pieces. Also, DO NOT CHEW GUM! it shortenes the roots of your teeth with braces chomping on it all day which will cause u to lose ur teeth by 40 years old. Cut back on sugar also.

  • Laurenkellers

    At first he’ll only be able to eat soft foods like applesauce. After a few weeks he may be able to eat anything he wants or it might take a little bit longer. However, he eventually will be able to eat foods like granola. Hope i could help!

  • Ddejean87

    Don’t limit your son to just liquids. Soft foods will also be fine. Jello, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese are all good choices. Eggs or oatmeal would be good for breakfast too. Basically anything fairly soft. After a few days or a week his teeth will feel better and he’ll be able go eat regular food too. That’s how it was for me when I had braces.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPAXJDAO6RZPOYVEYD6ETCF4HY Brianna

    I had Braces and after a week he can go onto regular foods but just not pickles caramel and other foods that involve biting into the food and having to pull out. But he can go to other foods that are normal such as meat and other things he usually eats or loves I thought when i got braces I would have to be on a diet and only eat liquids but I found out I could eat other foods as well. You’r welcome and Hope this is helpful…

  • Briiannnna

    Ya Ddejean87 is totally right. I’m 12 and I have braces and the food I limit my self to is strawberries because they get in between my braces and when I flossed that night it was so long and hard to get it out of my brakets. Every 4-6 weeks I get them tightened in fact I got them tightened yesterday so during breakfast I eat bananas with oatmeal and for lunch I eat the pasta or pizz served at my school. And finally for dinner, I either eat more pasta, soup, or macx and cheese. After 3-4 days of the soreness I go on to eating the usual foods and for chicken and meat in especially I HAVE to rip them into pieces so those are the basics of what I eat with my braces.