Here at Sawgrass Orthodontics, we want your orthodontic experience with us to be positive and stress-free, from your first appointment to your last. Choosing to improve your smile with braces is exciting, but like anything new, it will also come with quite a few changes. Most of the changes are relatively minor, but some will take a bit of getting used to, like food restrictions. 

The food restrictions that come with traditional braces treatment can be one of the biggest learning curves for patients. While they can be a source of frustration, particularly in the beginning, they’re necessary to protect both your braces and your teeth during the treatment process. 

All your hard work will be worth it once your braces come off and your beautiful new smile is revealed, but we want to make things simpler for you between now and then. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful list of braces-friendly foods you can indulge in with our approval! Keep reading below for more information on how to handle the dietary challenges you’ll face in the months ahead. 

Hang in there – braces don’t last forever 

There’s no denying that it takes time and effort to improve your oral health and straighten your smile. Whether you’re in braces for a few months or a few years, there will always be days where it feels like treatment will last forever. We promise this part is only temporary! If you can accept from the beginning that you’ll have a few limitations for a while, things will go much more smoothly. Before you know it, your braces will be off and you’ll be looking at your brand new smile in the mirror! 

Dental hygiene is even more essential as a braces patient

Oral care is important for everybody, orthodontic patient or not. But when you’re wearing braces, it becomes even more essential to take good care of your teeth and gums. You should have a good oral hygiene routine in place throughout the treatment process (and beyond!) 

We recommend that all our patients brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss every night before bed. Taking care of your mouth doesn’t stop there, either! You should be aiming to eat a diet that’s rich and varied in vitamins and minerals. You may be worried about to manage that when you already have restrictions on what you can eat, but rest assured, there’s still a wide range of healthy foods you can eat while you’re in braces!

Breakfast

Cereal

This may not seem like an obvious choice, since many cereals are crunchy or sharp, but most will soften if you let them sit in milk for a few minutes. If “soggy” cereal doesn’t sound appealing to you, consider oatmeal or grits instead. 

Bread

Hard bread can pose a problem for braces patients, but there’s plenty of other bread products you can enjoy, including bagels and sliced sandwich bread. You can still toast them, but make sure it’s on a very light setting. The same holds true for frozen waffles or french toast sticks. 

Fruit

Most fruits are totally fine to eat while you’re in braces, though you may need to take a few precautions. For example, apples should be sliced into smaller pieces or blended into a smoothie or juice first since biting into it whole can cause damage. You should also pay attention to fruits that have seeds or stones. Peaches, nectarines, and cherries are soft on the outside, but if you accidentally bite down on the hard inner core, it can bend or even break a bracket. 

Lunch

Soup

Soup isn’t just for sick days! It’s nutritious, filling, and there’s little to no chewing involved, which make it perfect for days when your mouth is feeling a little tender thanks to adjustment appointments.

Salad

Tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers cut into small pieces are all orthodontist-approved, but steer clear of croutons! Salads are also full of vitamins and minerals that can help protect your teeth from cavities and tooth decay, so they’re an all-around winner when it comes to foods you can eat while undergoing orthodontic treatment. 

Sandwiches

As long as your sandwiches are made with soft bread, you’re free to eat them as often as you like! Ham, tuna, deli sliced chicken, and cheese are common fillings that are also compatible with braces. It can sometimes be helpful to cut your sandwich into smaller pieces for easier consumption. Bread can get stuck in your braces, so be sure to have a toothbrush and toothpaste with you at all times so you can brush after meals and snacks.  

What Can I Eat With Braces?

Dinner

Fish

Because it’s naturally soft and flaky, fish can be a fantastic alternative to meats like beef and pork when your mouth is feeling sore. Fattier fish like tuna and salmon in particular are a great source of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb and use calcium more effectively.

Rice and pasta

These starchy staples are easy to eat and won’t cause any issues with your braces. There are so many choices with rice and pasta as the base, but be careful when adding other elements in. For example, chicken should be soft and shredded, or cut into small pieces. Meatballs should be tender and not over baked. If you’re adding cheese, make sure it’s melted and not baked until it has a crunch to it!

Vegetables

Raw vegetables should be avoided, especially in the early days of treatment. Carrots, celery, and other crunchy veg can cause problems with your braces, but boiling, baking, or steaming them will take care of that! Corn shouldn’t be consumed on the cob, but it’s fine on its own. Most other veggies are great options for braces, however you choose to cook and consume them. 

For the best in braces treatment, trust Sawgrass Orthodontics! 

Braces do require a bit of extra effort on your part, especially where food is involved, but  you’ll be surprised by how quickly it goes. It can be helpful to remember that making changes to your diet will benefit not only your smile, but many other aspects of your life as well. Improving your oral health, total body health, and your smile makes the wait more than worth it! 

If you’re in the Davie, Weston, Plantation, Cooper City, or Sunrise areas, we’d love to meet you and share more about how orthodontics can give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE consultation.

- Dr. Langford

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