There are several types of braces, but when you get any one of them you’ll probably also get a long list of foods you can’t eat: popcorn, nuts, candy and more. Given the price of braces — and the fact that you want straight teeth when they come off — you’ll need to stay away from all these things. But the good news is that there are plenty of delicious foods you can enjoy with your braces on. Here are just a few ideas:
Bagels, hard cereals and whole fruit can be tough to chew. And in the first week or so after tightening, your mouth might be extra sore. Fruit smoothies are the perfect way to avoid chewing, and the frozen fruit will take the edge off any swelling or discomfort. Add yogurt for a creamier texture and some protein.
White sandwich bread can get stuck in braces, and starches allow bacteria to thrive inside your mouth. Make a roll-up instead, using lunch meat or lettuce as the outside layer. Carrots are usually on the no-no list for braces, but carrot ribbons (made with a vegetable peeler) may be manageable. Instead of a crunchy apple, choose apple sauce. The nutritional value of unsweetened applesauce is very similar to the plain fruit, but it’s still sweet enough to seem like a midday dessert.
- Afternoon Snack:
Soft cheese is easy to eat with braces. It’s tasty, filling and packed with protein as well, making it a perfect snack food.
Chewy foods like steak are probably off the table, but options made with ground beef or turkey (think meatloaf and meatballs) are easy to manage with braces. Combine with fluffy mashed potatoes, gravy and ranch slaw, and your taste buds will be as happy as your orthodontia.
Ice cream is a classic choice, especially when your mouth is sore, but there are plenty of other options as well. Baked apples with maple syrup or honey are fine as long as they’re soft enough to cut with a fork. And if you need a chocolate fix, choose pudding instead of a candy bar.
What other foods have you been cleared to eat while wearing orthodontic braces? Share your favorite recipe ideas in the comments!