What Can I Eat With Braces?

Braces provide life-changing treatment by improving the functionality and cosmetics of smiles in people of all ages. Still, people are discouraged from starting treatment daily because they don’t want to change their grocery list or switch up their go-to restaurant order. Fortunately, braces have become more resilient and flexible over the years, so there aren’t as many restrictions on their diet as you might think. Whether you’re a food blogger, an adventurous eater, or a picky eater who hates trying new things, Kottemann Orthodontics offers braces that are great for either lifestyle. Let’s check out all the delicious options still available while undergoing orthodontic care!

Metal Braces

Our traditional metal braces use brackets, wires, and ligatures (elastics that attach the wire to the bracket) to treat cases ranging from mild to complex. The durability of the strong metal mixture used to create the brackets makes them great for those with active lifestyles (though you should wear a mouthguard) and ideal for even the most severe orthodontic needs.

The brackets are glued to the teeth and remain in place until Dr. William Kottemann, Dr. Kraig Kotteman, Dr. Scott Kottemann, or Dr. Alisha Holt is satisfied with your alignment. Their fixed position means you must change your oral hygiene routine and diet to protect your braces and oral health.

Unsuitable food can make your braces challenging to clean, increasing your risk of bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, white spots on teeth, and other issues, which can negatively impact your experience and final results if left untreated. The wrong food can also damage your braces, making them uncomfortable and annoying until fixed.

You will want to avoid anything hard, crunchy, or sticky. If a food requires you to bite or tear into it with your front teeth, you will need to cut it into small, bite-sized pieces. Examples of “No, thank you” foods include:

crunchy chips
hard cookies
taffy, caramel, and other sticky food
hard candy,
taco shells
ice cream cones
corn on the cob
whole apples and other hard fruits
hard crackers
beef jerky
hard bread (toasted, grilled, et cetera)
stringy vegetables like celery (the string can get caught in the braces)
hard vegetables

Examples of “Yes, please” foods include:

soft bread
soft seafood and soft boneless meats
french fries and mashed potatoes
vegetables softened by boiling or steaming (but still no stringy vegetables)
soft fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and bananas
hard fruits cut into thin, bite-sized pieces
soft tortillas
pies and cake
soft sandwiches
dairy products like smoothies, milkshakes, puddings, ice cream, yogurt, and soft cheeses
cookies that have been broken into bite-sized pieces and softened with milk
thin, small crackers, preferably softened by soup

Clear Braces

Clear braces, which work almost identically to their older metal counterpart, are seen as a stylish and subtle alternative. The most significant difference is that clear braces use a ceramic mix instead of metal to make their brackets! This material allows manufacturers to create a tooth-colored appliance that blends in with the teeth and creates the illusion of clear braces!

If you have clear braces, you must follow the same dietary guidelines as metal braces (see above), but you will have to be more careful. Ceramic braces can chip or crack if not properly taken care of, and while the brackets are stain-resistant, the ligatures are not. Since we change the ligatures when we adjust your wires, you don’t need to worry about staining unless you consume a lot of tea, coffee, or other products known to cause discoloration. Limiting their intake will keep your braces as low profile as possible for longer.

Clear Aligners

Kottemann Orthodontics is a proud Invisalign Diamond Plus provider, which means we successfully apply more Invisalign treatments than 99% of others in our area!

Invisalign creates custom-made, transparent clear aligners (trays) for teeth alignment. The customization makes them comfortable and snug, so most people won’t even realize you wear them.

Because the clear aligners are removable, you don’t have to change your diet! You can consume whatever you want since you need to remove the trays to eat or drink anything other than water!

The only note to make here is that the aligners are stain resistant, but unfortunately, they are not stain-proof. To maintain their transparency and prevent discoloration, we recommend rinsing your mouth after meals and snacktimes to remove any residue that could transfer to the aligners. You could also limit your intake of teeth-staining products, such as tea, coffee, or tomato-based items, but this is usually unnecessary because the trays are changed every two weeks.
What Can I Eat With Braces?Visit Kottemann Orthodontics To Get Started!

Because there are seemingly endless variations of almost everything, the above lists are only some examples of foods you can and cannot eat. Don’t see your favorite snack or meal listed? Set it off to the side for now, and call Kottemann Orthodontics to find out if our fantastic orthodontist team approves it! We want you to be careful, but we don’t want you to restrict your diet unnecessarily.

If you’re feeling better about the braces lifestyle and are ready to get started, schedule your free consultation with us today to find out which braces you qualify for!

Our team is always here and happy to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out! We look forward to hearing from you soon!