Tips and advice: What can I eat with braces?

It’s not nice being told what you can and can’t eat but unfortunately with braces there are some rules to follow. Eating foods which are too hard or chewy can in fact damage/break your brace and may cause a delay in your treatment. A patient who is compliant with eating instructions will sail through treatment quicker than someone who isn’t! Although it may be a sad thought to not be allowed certain foods, you may want to read on to learn about alternatives to your favourite snacks.

Breakfast

Cereal

If you’re a lover of a crunchy cereal in the morning then you may want to look away now because anything crunchy and sharp is a definite no when it comes to braces. Frosties, Cornflakes, granola, Cheerio’s and Honey clusters are all examples of “cereal killers” which will fracture and bend your brace, rendering it useless. That being said you may be able to eat these cereals if they have had time to soften in milk… but who wants a soggy cereal?! Alternatives you may like to try include Weetabix, Shredded wheat or Porridge.

Bread

Say goodbye to french sticks and tiger bread and hello to soft baps and tortilla wraps. Hard breads unfortunately are one of our biggest problems! Have just a small bite and you are risking a trip to the orthodontist. Bagels and sliced bread are fine but unfortunately can no longer be enjoyed toasted unless it is toasted very lightly.

Fruit

If you are a fruit lover then you may like to study this paragraph, fruits are generally fine with braces as long as you take some precautions. Bananas, tangerines, melons, grapes, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries can be consumed no problem with braces however any type of fruit that you would usually take a bite into will need to be prepared for consumption. Biting directly into crunchy fruits such as apples could cause a major breakage, this is why any crunchy or chewy fruits will need to be sliced into smaller pieces or blended into a smoothie first. This is usually a difficult thing to come to terms with if you are someone who eats a lot of fruit…but we all learn to adapt over time. Be careful of some soft fruits which may lead you into a false sense of security, when biting into a soft peach or nectarine for example you will need to watch out for the pip!


Lunch

Soup

Soup is the perfect dish to have with braces (take it from someone who knows) it doesn’t get caught in your teeth, there is no risk of damaging the brace and best of all if your teeth are a little bit tender after your last tightening appointment, soup is easily digestible with little/no chewing effort. Perfect if you have a slight lack of appetite which is normal to experience with braces.

Salad

Salads are also fine with a brace, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and baby potatoes are all relatively soft foods. If you’re planning on putting peppers into your salad then just make sure they are cut into small pieces. You may however have to skip the croutons this time.

Sandwiches

You probably will not have too many problems with sandwiches as long as they are made with a soft bread (please refer to the paragraph about bread under the breakfast section). Sandwich fillers are usually quite soft too, things like ham, tuna, chicken and cheese are all easily consumable, don’t be tempted to load your sandwich with crisps as some people like to do. When eating a sandwich with braces it can be quite a messy job, always make sure you have a toothbrush with you! A little tip for you could be to break the sandwich up into pieces with your fingers rather than biting directly into it.

Dinner

Fish

Everyone needs Omega 3 in their diet; you can now use your braces as an excuse for eating healthier (that’s what I try to do anyway). Fresh fish like salmon and cod can be more expensive than other meats in the supermarket but there is always the alternative of fishcakes and fish pies.

Chicken

Chicken is one of the nations favourite and is very easy to eat with a brace and is never too crunchy or too chewy, unless of course dad’s been on the BBQ again!

Lamb, Beef and Pork

If your diet is high in red meat then fear not. This type of meat is absolutely fine to eat as long as it is not too chewy, if you’re cooking from home then you may want to dust off your slow cooker but be careful when eating out as the meat may be chewier than you would hope.

Curries

Curries are one of my favourite meals and are so comforting when wearing braces, they are easy to eat as they are so soft to chew and digest. Just be careful of the spice found in curries called turmeric as it may turn your clear bands on your ceramic brace bright yellow!

Rice and Noodles

Noodles and rice are also easy to eat and will not cause you any problems. If you are having a Chinese, just be careful of the notorious prawn cracker…however tempting it may be.

Pasta

Mmmm pasta you’ve got carbonara, bolognese, tuna pasta, macaroni and cheese, lasagne and pasta bake. When baking pasta, ensure the cheese is soft and runny, rather than crunchy  (like how my Nan makes it). Gosh now I really am hungry.


Vegetables

Beware of raw vegetables; carrots are a definite no with braces unless of course they are cooked through to perfection. You can maintain a healthy diet with all the vegetables you love as long as they are boiled or steamed. Danger: Roasting vegetables may result in brace fatalities. Tips: Always carry a toothbrush when eating spinach, sweetcorn cannot be consumed on the cob and raw carrots may be safer grated.


Pudding

Ice-cream/Lollies

Both are absolutely fine with braces and will melt in the mouth. They can actually be quite soothing if your teeth are aching due to the pressure of braces. During my first few days of braces I lived on ice cream and soup.

Apple crumble

Again fine as long as smothered in warm custard.

Cheesecake

Can’t go wrong.


Snacks

Crisps

Unfortunately you are taking a risk if you try to eat most crisps, Kettle chips and Walkers are too hard/crunchy for braces to manage and you will risk knocking off your brackets eating these types of crisps. Try to stick to crisps which tend to bubble and melt in the mouth like Quavers, Skips and Wotsits.

Fizzy drinks

Fizzy drinks are very damaging to the teeth over time, especially when a brace is involved. Acid weakens the teeth, then sugars from the fizzy drink can cause decay. When a brace is in the way it is very difficult to keep the teeth clean, making them more at risk of getting decay. If you can limit your fizzy drink intake to mealtimes only then you are on the right path to a healthier mouth.

Popcorn

One of the dangers of eating popcorn is the risk of finding a corn which has not quite popped. These can hurt when biting into at the best of times let alone when wearing a brace, they can also be very damaging.

Nuts

Nuts are incredibly crunchy and you are not permitted to bite into nuts when wearing braces under any circumstances. If nuts are a large part of your diet then you will need to consider grinding them down first, you can then put them into a smoothie or over a salad.

Olives

Olives are a tasty little snack, but mind those pips!

Chewing/Bubble Gum

You may not think it but gum has the capability of pulling off a bracket due to the amount of suction it can create. It can also be very embarrassing if it gets caught in your brace… as I learnt the hard way when I had my first course of orthodontic treatment at the age of 15.


Chocolate

Now chocolate also contains a lot of sugar which is dangerous when wearing a brace, however frequency is the major concern. If you are having chocolate on occasion then this is absolutely fine, however it is better to have chocolate after a meal rather than snacking on it throughout the day. Hard chocolate will damage your brace so you can no longer store it in the fridge, you may want to consider melting it down if it is quite a thick bit of chocolate.

Biscuits

Now most dentists will say avoid biscuits, that they are too hard and crunchy. But I’m not a dentist and biscuits are very important to me. So I have created a nice compromise to this rule, which is probably the most important part of this whole blog. If you fancy a biscuit, why not have a cup of tea as well. This way you can dip it in and no harm  done.

 

So there you have it, an honest guide to eating with braces. By someone who knows what it is like to wear a brace. It’s so easy for dentists or dental nurses to say avoid this and don’t eat that, but it’s not always that easy when you are wearing a brace 24/7.  I hope you have found this little guide useful, if you are wanting to find out more tips and advice about wearing braces then read our blog , visit our website http://www.smilelux.co.uk/ or ask me in person!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,