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Braces-Friendly Snacks to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Chocolate is one of the most popular braces-friendly snacks, but there is a lot of variety available to satisfy your sweet tooth. Understanding the dietary restrictions for braces and why orthodontists recommend avoiding certain foods will help you make great choices. Just because you can’t eat certain items doesn’t mean you have to have a bland, tasteless, and unsweet diet during your treatment.

Why Can’t You Eat What You Want with Braces?

The most significant reason behind the restriction of certain foods during braces treatment is to reduce damage to the hardware. Although brackets and wires are strong enough to move teeth, they are still delicate. Eating the wrong foods and snacks can damage the appliance and extend your treatment period.

Changing Your Mindset — How You Think About Food

The most significant hurdle when shifting to a new diet is your mindset. We find it helpful with new braces wearers to explain the change in terms of considering how the food you want will impact your hardware. Asking a simple question of “Will eating this damage my braces?” before eating will keep you reasonably safe.

In the following sections, we will discuss foods to avoid. We will also be sharing some favorite foods on the list to avoid, but by making a few changes in how you eat them, make them safe enough to eat.

Foods You Should Avoid

Unfortunately, many snacks we enjoy will fall on the list of things to avoid with braces. By changing your mindset, you may still be able to enjoy a wide variety of braces-friendly snacks. Among the things you should avoid or limit are:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Popcorn (except the puffed type without kernels)
  • Potato and crunchy chips such as Doritos
  • Hard candies and lollipops
  • Whole apples
  • Hard, crunchy vegetables
  • All gum
  • Sticky, chewy candy such as taffy or gummy bears
  • Corn on the cob
  • Beef jerky
  • Crusty rolls, pizza crust, or bread that you have to pull on with your teeth to eat

In addition to avoiding some foods, some habits can also damage your braces, including:

  • Nail biting
  • Toothpicks
  • Pencil, pen, or straw chewing

Avoid chewing on anything hard that has the potential to damage your braces.

Braces-Friendly Snacks and Foods You Can Have Without Worries

When it comes to regular foods, you can eat with braces the list is long. You may have friends tell you that you are destined for two years of a mashed potato diet, but that isn’t true. Although you can eat mashed potatoes the whole time you wear your braces, you won’t need to. You can enjoy any of the following without worry:

  • Pasta such as spaghetti or macaroni
  • Meats without bones, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Any cooked vegetable or soft raw vegetable
  • Any of the soft fruits
  • Soft bread
  • Most dairy products
  • Casseroles
  • Soups
  • Pizza (see below for tips and tricks)

Snacks to satisfy your sweet tooth include:

  • Donuts (yes, eat all the donuts that do not contain nuts)
  • Soft cookies without nuts
  • Pie (except pecan pie)
  • CHOCOLATE (without nuts or crunchy bits)
  • Muffins
  • Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon
  • Pudding and jello
  • Milkshakes and ice cream

As you can see, you are not limited too much with your braces as long as you avoid foods that can damage the equipment. Modifying the way you eat certain foods will allow you to continue enjoying them during treatment.

How to Cheat the System for Special Braces-Friendly Snacks

If you love apples, being told you can’t eat your favorite fruit for two years while you have braces can sound devastating. There are a few ways to cheat the system to get your favorite snacks in without damaging your braces and extending your treatment.

You can eat apples with braces by making a simple change in how you eat them. While it is great to grab an apple and go, with braces, you need to slow down enough to do some prep work. Apples damage braces when you bite into them. The peel can get caught in the wire and brackets or even damage the wire. To eat apples while wearing braces, peel them and cut them into small, bite-sized pieces. You can chew the pieces with your molars to enjoy the taste without damaging your braces.

Pizza is on the list to avoid because it usually requires tugging with your teeth, or it may have crunchy toppings that can damage your wires or dislodge a bracket. There are a few tips for eating pizza with braces:

  • Cut your pizza into bite-sized pieces and eat it with a fork
  • Order toppings that are softer
  • Choose a crust that isn’t chewy or tough

If carrots are your favorite snack, cut them into small pieces like apples and chew them with your molars. You can generally eat any of the harder fruits and vegetables safely in this manner. Remember to ask yourself if the food will damage your braces. If you think it might cause damage, consider what you can do to make it safer for your hardware.

Caring for Your Braces — Avoid Emergencies

Emergency trips to the orthodontist to have your braces repaired can be annoying. Broken hardware can extend your treatment, and nobody wants that. Exercising a bit of common sense and thinking about what you eat can continue satisfying your sweet tooth during treatment without risk.

Brush and floss regularly, removing food particles under the wire and around the brackets. If you are unsure how to clean your teeth while wearing braces, the technicians at John Orthodontics can help you learn great techniques.

John Orthodontics Is Here for You

Dr. Eliane A. John specializes in providing excellent family care. If you need an orthodontist in the Coral Springs area, John Orthodontics is more than “just braces.” We accept patients in every age group, including early treatment (age six to seven), teens, and adults.

To schedule a consultation, use our Online Scheduling system. Your first consultation is free for new patients so we can meet you, and it also allows you to get a feeling for our staff, office environment, and experience without risk.

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