Managing your diet is a key aspect of having braces, but it should still be an enjoyable experience! The good news is that there are plenty of food options available while wearing braces. Ollins Orthodontics is here to answer this key question: Which foods should I avoid to prevent damage to braces?

Your Food Choices Are Important

Apart from nutritional factors, choosing foods that are friendly to braces is essential to avoid inconvenience and potential costs for repairs over time. Damage can also prolong your treatment, which may already be lengthy, depending on your condition. Braces consist of various components, including wires and brackets, which are especially vulnerable to damage.

Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

What to Avoid

We’ll be covering both bad diet options and good diet options for you today as recommended by Dr. Gabriel and Dr. Bruce, but let’s start with the bad so you know what to avoid: 

  1. Chewy Foods: 
    • Bagels and Dinner Rolls: While they may appear harmless, tough pieces of bread can be challenging to bite into and put a strain on your braces.
  2. Sticky Foods:
    • Caramel and Toffee: These can adhere to brackets and wires, making them difficult to clean off.
    • Gum: It can become entangled around the components and be tough to remove.
    • Gummy Candies: These can tug on your braces and dislodge brackets.
  3. Sugary Foods:
    • Sugary Snacks and Drinks: These can cause plaque buildup and cavities around brackets and wires. Sodas and sweetened juices, high in acids and sugar, can also erode enamel. Monitoring sugar intake is wise for dental health, regardless of braces.
  4. Hard/Crunchy Foods:
    • Hard Candy: Biting down on hard candy can damage your braces.
    • Popcorn: Kernels can become lodged in your braces, causing discomfort and potential damage.
    • Raw Vegetables: Carrots and similar veggies should be sliced into small, manageable pieces or avoided.
    • Chips: These can clump together when chewed and are challenging to clean from teeth and molars.
  5. Other Foods:
    • Tough Meats: Steak or beef jerky can loosen components.
    • Large Bites of Food: Even seemingly safe foods can pose problems when taken in large bites. Smaller bites are easier on your braces.
    • Pizza Crust: This favorite can strain braces. Consider skipping the crust to prevent issues.
Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

Great Foods for Braces

Now, let’s consider a wiser approach. Ollins Orthodontics wants you to know that you can enjoy a balanced and flavorful diet while wearing braces! Be mindful of any allergies or intolerances, but remember there are often excellent substitutes available with similar textures.

  1. Soft Vegetables:
    • Steamed or Cooked Veggies: Carrots, broccoli, potatoes, spinach, and green beans are all excellent when softened.
    • Avocado: Naturally creamy and beneficial for your health.
  2. Soft Fruits:
    • Bananas: Easy to chew and packed with essential nutrients.
    • Berries: Naturally bite-sized, blueberries and raspberries are soft and nutritious choices.
    • Melons: Honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon can be cubed or balled. They’re hydrating and perfect for warmer weather.
    • Applesauce: Ideal for apple enthusiasts to enjoy without risking damage.
  3. Soft Proteins:
    • Eggs: Dynamic in any form—scrambled, fried, boiled, poached.
    • Fish: Soft and flaky varieties like salmon, cod, and tilapia.
    • Chicken: Boiled, baked, or shredded chicken is easier to consume.
    • Tofu: Super soft and useful in various dishes.
  4. Dairy/Non-Dairy Products:
    • Yogurt: Versatile and available in various flavors.
    • Soft Cheeses: Brie, goat cheese, or cottage cheese can enhance many dishes.
    • Dairy: Provides essential calcium for bones and teeth.
  5. Soups and Stews:
    • Broth-Based Soups: Chicken noodles, vegetables, and minestrone are gentle on braces.
    • Creamy Soups: Tomato, potato, and pumpkin soups are filling and delicious.
    • Stews: Ideal for tenderizing meat and hard vegetables.
  6. Beans, Grains, Pasta:
    • Cooked Pasta: Can be made flavorful with different sauces or proteins.
    • Rice: A staple in global cuisine. Experiment with various varieties for different flavors.
    • Soft Bread: Perfect for sandwiches or toasting.
  7. Sweets and Snacks:
    • Smoothies: Naturally sweet and can include fruits, veggies, and yogurt.
    • Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt: These are enjoyable treats but should be consumed in moderation due to their high sugar content.
    • Soft Baked Goods: Muffins, pancakes, or cupcakes are easy to eat but indulge only occasionally.
Which Foods Should I Avoid To Prevent Damage To Braces?

Smart and Delicious

Our team at Ollins Orthodontics aims to make life with braces as smooth and enjoyable as possible, including helping you make satisfying food choices! If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact our wonderful Nutley office.