How Do Braces Change Patients’ Diets?

Posted | Blog, Braces, General Orthodontics

It’s inevitable that getting braces will cause some aspects of your daily life to change temporarily, and this includes your diet. Luckily, however, braces do NOT mean that your meals will become less nutritious or delicious! You probably won’t have to make any radical changes to your diet at all once your orthodontic treatment begins. To make sure that your teeth and implement are as strong and safe as they can be, there are just a few simple rules that you should keep in mind when deciding what to eat. Here are our best tips.

Healthy Eating

Luckily for you, a braces diet is still a healthy, diverse, and flavorful diet! Some common misconceptions about braces include that you can only eat mushy foods with little flavor, and this is simply not true! Rather than cutting delicious foods like fruits and vegetables out of your diet while on braces, you’ll just need to be careful and think about the best way to prepare them. For example, biting into a whole shiny, red apple might not be the best idea, but you can still enjoy it by cutting it up into bite-size pieces before you sit down for your snack. Small changes like these mean that you can continue to enjoy the majority of foods you loved before you got braces. However, there are some items that you should try to avoid entirely for the duration of your orthodontic treatment. 

Things to Avoid

Unfortunately, if you love to snack on nuts, chips, or popcorn every day, you might have to wait a bit until you can enjoy those foods again. As a general rule of thumb, anything very hard or crunchy isn’t the best idea when you have braces, as these foods could end up damaging your equipment. Sticky or chewy items such as bagels, licorice, caramel candies, and chewing gum are also no-gos for now. Finally, as we’ve mentioned before, fresh foods that require biting into like apples, corn-on-the-cob, and carrots should not be consumed whole. In most cases, you can still eat the items in this last group if you are able to cut them up into smaller pieces, for example, by removing the corn from the cob. 

Things to Enjoy

Don’t worry! While you might be disappointed if you can’t eat your favorite snack while you have braces, lots of tasty foods are still on the table! When in doubt, it’s best to go for foods that are softer. If you’re looking for meat or seafood, this could mean meatballs, cold cuts, salmon, or chicken. Pasta is a great option for braces-wearers. Fruits such as bananas can be eaten with no problems, as can vegetables like spinach and beans. Even bread items like muffins are fine — as long as they have no dangerous mix-ins like nuts. With all the options still available, you’ll barely notice a change in your diet. 

Image of boy wearing braces eating a bowl of pasta.

Don’t Forget Dessert!

But what about dessert?! While we support healthy eating at Tisseront Orthodontics, we recognize that anything is good in moderation! It’s true that many sweets are off-limits while you have braces, like hard candies, caramels, gummy bears, and licorice. However, there are still many sweet treats that you can have while braces. Ice cream and related products like milkshakes can certainly be enjoyed — make sure to try out our very own self-serve ice cream machine at your next appointment! If you don’t want to get a brain freeze, treats like Jell-O and cake are also safe to eat while you have braces. 
The idea of having to change your diet due to braces can be daunting, but the changes won’t seem like such a big deal once you’ve gotten use to them. If you have any questions about what you can and cannot eat while you have braces, we’re here to help! Contact Tisseront Orthodontics at any time.

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