Braces-friendly foods

Braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatments available to correct many dental and jaw issues. While this is a viable way to get the ultimate smile, using dental braces can be a hassle for its users, especially when dealing with food and oral hygiene. This article offers a few tips on braces-friendly food to have alongside those you should avoid as a small help to new braces users.

Dental braces and their issues

What are braces? Braces are a form of orthodontic treatment designed to fix common dental and jaw misalignments like crowding, crossbite, spacing, and others.

Braces come in different types. These include the traditional metal type, the lingual type, the self-ligating, the ceramic type, and the Invisalign® type. Each aligner is unique in its make, particularly with material composition, its location in the mouth, and the time frame of usage. Their only common feature is their function; to correct dental and jaw issues.

As remedies to many issues, these aligners are a miracle, yet one cannot overlook the issues that come with them. Some of these problems include:

  • Cuts inside the mouth – these cuts occur from the wires on the brackets.
  • Tooth staining – many users complain of uneven staining as the areas where the brackets cover remain protected but the rest of the teeth get stained. This leads to uneven staining.
  • Sore mouth and teeth – this happens due to the shifting that the teeth go through and chewing food with it.
  • Snapped or missing ligatures – ligatures are the tiny rubber bands in front of the brackets that keep the wire attached to the brackets. Hard foods or eating forcefully can cause them to snap.
  • Dental hygiene – braces trap food particles and make it hard to brush and floss.
  • Broken brackets and wires – sometimes certain foods like popcorn, caramel, whole apples, etc., can cause breakage to the brackets and wires of the braces.
  • Poor dental hygiene – braces make brushing and flossing hard, plus braces also trap food particles in them, leading to tartar, cavities, and plaque.

What to eat with braces

When we look at the issues mentioned above, a vital way of preventing many of the problems; like the breaking of brackets and wires, or poor dental care is to avoid certain foods and switch up one’s diet to reduce the discomfort and to get accustomed to the braces.

Certain foods are advised for the earlier part of the treatment with braces. As time goes on, you can add some food types as you are now fully accustomed to eating with your braces. Below are some foods and meals you can enjoy while using braces.


As a healthy part of every diet, even braces can’t stop you from having fruits. Although you’ll have to make some adjustments, you can still have as many fruits as you like. With braces, soft fruits like blueberries, watermelon, bananas, pineapple, and other berries are great as they are easy to chew and won’t graze your teeth much when they are tender. Later in your treatment, hard fruits like apples and pears are good choices, but make sure they are cut into small bits that you can easily chew.


Just like fruits, there are the soft ones and the hard ones. To enjoy the soft ones, a little cooking helps, and having vegetable soup is also a great idea with the broth and the softly cooked vegetables. Tough to bite vegetables like broccoli, carrot, cucumber, etc., are best cooked. But if you wish to have them raw, cutting them into bits will make chewing easier. Cutting them into tiny bits will avoid large chunks getting stuck between the ligatures and wires.

Dairy products

Since dairy products are soft, they make great meal options for braces wearers. All types of yogurts, milk, cheese, and other dairy products are perfect. Keep in mind that certain cheese types can get stuck between the wires and brackets because they are sticky. To prevent that, cut the cheese into smaller sizes or you can have less sticky cheese.


Eating meat with your braces is like fighting a war, but it can always be better. You can have soft meat like lean and tender meat, chicken, and fish since they soften up fast when properly cooked. You can also get creative when cooking your dishes with meat to make chewing easier like making meatballs. To make it easier, cut the meat into small sizes to avoid having too much in your mouth. Also, for vegetarians, tofu is a good option as it’s soft.

Nuts and seeds

Just like meat, nuts are also challenging for braces wearers because they have tough shells while some are too small. A way to save yourself from stress is by having your nuts and seeds in butter forms like peanut butter, almond butter or blend/grind them for yogurt toppings.


Grainy products like bread, whatever the kind it may be, pasta, and rice, are a staple food for everyone, and the good news is you can still have them all in your diet. Soft bread of any kind is recommended as it’s easy to chew, but be careful of them sticking to the braces. Avoid hard-crusted bread like bagels or bread with whole grains are not advisable as they can damage the braces.

Foods to avoid with braces

Certain foods become a no-go area for braces wearers because they can do a lot of damage to the apparatus. Foods that are hard to bite/chew and sticky are particularly off as they can do a lot of damage. These foods include:

  • Hard foods like chips, pretzels, popcorn
  • Sticky foods like chewing gum, jerky, caramels, taffy, snicker, etc.
  • Sugary foods such as boiled sweets
  • Ice
  • Foods like corn on the cob that you need to bite into forcefully
  • Hard meat and raw vegetables
  • Bones or meat from bones
  • Whole nuts
  • Unground whole grains

The good news is that having braces on is not the end of the world. It is true that there are certain limitations, but you can always mix foods and create variety, so long as these foods are easy to chew, and they are non-sticky.

Foods and braces

Keeping in mind that not all foods are brace-friendly, you’ll find it easier to navigate around the whole idea. The moment you get your braces on, your licensed orthodontist will provide you with a list of foods to take and those to avoid. A word of advice is to follow that list and do all that is necessary to make your braces treatment comfortable.

At Cordoba Orthodontics, we’ll be with you every step of the way, ensuring that you’re aware of best practices during your orthodontic treatment. Call us today for a consultation or schedule an appointment online. We’d love to help you achieve your new smile!

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