What Can't You Eat with Braces

Everyone desires a beautifully straight set of teeth. And for that, getting an orthodontic treatment is a step in the right direction. When you get your braces, it is very important to keep them clean to avoid tooth decay. But with braces come restrictions, and the biggest restriction is made obvious when you can't eat your favorite foods like nuts. So, what can't you eat with braces? To begin with, it is important to change your diet habits, as your braces are delicate and cannot stand the pressure of biting and crunching. Read on to find out a tooth-friendly diet.

What Can't You Eat with Braces

You must refrain from foods that may damage your braces, or you could prolong your treatment. The list below defines the foods to avoid:

1. Hard Foods

It is recommended to avoid foods like ice, popcorn, pizza crust, crusty bread or bagels as they can bend the wires and pop out your braces. Also, the corn kernels or sharp bits could get lodged in your braces and cause pain. While eating apples or other crunchy fruits, make sure you cut them into small bite-sized pieces. Vegetables like carrots should be steamed to reduce their crunchy nature. This keeps their flavor and nutrients intact but makes them easier to eat.

2. Sticky Foods

Gummy foods get stuck between your braces, leading to bent wires and dislodged brackets. You need to clean your braces more carefully and thoroughly after eating foods like chewing gum, stringy meats or soft candies. Soft cheese could also get stuck between your braces, so make sure you cut cheese into small pieces or choose a product that can be peeled out easily. Be sure to clean your teeth after eating these food items.

3. Candies

Candies should be avoided as much as possible during your orthodontic treatment. They can destroy your braces and even cause damage to your teeth. Candies fall in two categories: hard and sticky. Hard candies will damage or break your braces, while sticky candies like toffee could adhere to your braces and easily break the bands. Candied gums could bend the wires and get stuck under the attachments in your braces. Moreover, when you are wearing braces, your teeth are more prone to decay so it's best to avoid candies altogether.

4. Nuts and Seeds

Eating these crunchy food items could be very difficult for a brace wearer. Biting on hard nuts can damage and break your brackets from the teeth. They can also bend the arch-wires of your braces, which can shift the position of your teeth and thus prolong the duration of your treatment. Choose options like peanut butter or almond spread to curb your nut cravings. Alternatively, you can crush your favorite nuts and use it as a spread on your yogurts. However, it is still better to avoid eating them rather than risking them getting stuck in your braces!

5. Other Things to Avoid with Braces

Other than the food items mentioned above, what can't you eat with braces? Here's what you need to refrain yourself from croutons, French or Italian bread, hard rolls, burgers, sub sandwiches, corn on the cobs, corn chips, pretzels, fruit roll ups and candy canes. What's more, it could also be a good idea to stop chewing your fingernails, pens, pencils or such other items.

How to Get a Balanced Diet with Braces

Does the above list contain all your favorite foods? Don't lose heart. Here are solutions to get all the nutrients and flavors you want while you are wearing braces.

1. Fruit

Fruits are filled with micronutrients and minerals and play an essential role in your diet. It is recommended that you eat 1-2 portions of fruits daily.

  • What to eat: You can eat soft fruits like melons, grapes, bananas, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries for those days when your teeth feel very tender, especially after wire changes.
  • What to avoid: Avoid eating unripe or hard fruits like apples, pears or peaches. If you need to eat them, cut them into very small pieces so that they can be chewed with the help of your back teeth.

2. Vegetables

Vegetables are a rich source of vitamins that help in wound healing. However, they need to be prepared differently.

  • What to eat: You can enjoy any vegetable that is steamed or boiled. Cooking softens vegetables and makes it easier to chew. Mashed potatoes are also a very good option.
  • What to avoid: Avoid raw vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus or any other hard vegetables. You can cut them into very small pieces or even grate them if you need to add them in salads.

3. Grains

We are discussing "What can't you eat with braces" and "How to get a balanced diet", so how could we miss the grains! Grains are a major portion of your diet and provide us iron and fiber. However choose the grains wisely, when you have wires on the teeth.

  • What to eat: Most grains are easy to chew as their products are very soft. You can soften the grains by soaking them or grinding them before eating.
  • What to avoid: Hard grains can hurt you and get stuck between your brackets or even your teeth, making them very difficult to remove. So avoid eating hard, crusty bread because they can damage your braces and teeth permanently.

4. Meat

Meats are a great source of proteins, vitamins and essential fats. But they could prove a challenge for you as they are very fibrous.

  • What to eat: Choose lean, tender pieces of meat and cut them into small pieces. You can select from fish, chicken, pork, lean beef or even tofu. Remove the meat from the bones before eating.
  • What to avoid: Stay away from stringy meats as they can be very difficult to chew and may loosen the bands around your molars. Avoid eating meat from the bones like chicken wings or ribs, as you may pop your brackets.
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