Preparing for braces can be both exciting and intimidating. It’s exciting because you know the end result will be well worth the effort, time and money. However, it can be intimidating because you may feel, look and talk differently. Not to mention you’ll now have a long list of food restrictions.

Further, as your teeth shift, you may find that biting and chewing food will feel different and at times it may even be painful. Thankfully this is all a part of the learning process. To help make this transition as comfortable as possible we searched the web to find the best and worst foods to eat while wearing braces. After all, the last thing you want is to be walking around all day with food stuck in your brackets or heaven forbid develop a cavity from built-up food.

1. Worst: Hard Fruits

Indulging in fruit is an important part of a healthy balanced diet, however, there are some fruits you should stay away from if you have braces. Most fruits that are difficult to bite into should be avoided. Some examples are apples, unripe pears, and plums.

Fruits that are difficult to bite into could pose a problem for both the wires and the brackets. Play it safe and avoid hard fruits or if you must eat them ensure they’re cut into small bite-sized pieces and chew with your back teeth.

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2. Best: Soft Fruits

On the contrary, soft fruits are totally acceptable and are actually encouraged while wearing braces. Some excellent options are blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

Alternatively, you could toss your favorite fruits into a smoothie! This way you can enjoy the sweet flavor and obtain the nutritious health benefits without having to worry about hurting your teeth or breaking your braces.

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3. Worst: Raw Vegetables

Vegetables are nutritious, however, it’s best to avoid raw vegetables with new braces as well as throughout your treatment. Some raw vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli can be really hard on the wires and brackets.

If you absolutely have to eat raw begetables it’s best to cut them into bite-sized pieces just like hard fruits. And don’t forget to chew the pieces with your back teeth.

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4. Best: Cooked Vegetables

The absolute best alternative to raw vegetables is cooked vegetables. Whether you steam them or boil them, you can enjoy delicious healthy foods with ease.

The best part is that steamed veggies won’t lose their nutrients either. So go ahead and steam your favorite veggies until they are tender or boil them until they are soft.

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5. Worst: Hard-Crusted Bread

Bread is a staple in most homes, however, if you have braces you may want to stay clear of hard-crusted bread. I know those delicious baguettes are enticing, but the hard crust could pose a risk for the brackets and wires.

Further, if you’ve just had braces put on or if you’ve recently had them adjusted, hard bread can be quite painful to bite into. Alternatively, you could cut off the crust and just eat the fluffy, delicious bread inside.

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6. Best: Soft Bread

Go ahead and skip the hard-crusted bread altogether and enjoy soft bread. Many store-bought generic brands have a soft crust which is a lot kinder on your mouth.

With soft bread, you won’t have to worry about cutting off the crust and you won’t have to anticipate a painful bite. Enjoy soft bread with sandwiches, dipped into soup, or however you like it!

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7. Worst: Bagels

Bagels aren’t hard-crusted but they’re not exactly soft either. They do have a chewy texture which means they’re not a great food to eat while wearing braces.

Not only do bagels have a chewy texture but many of them are coated in seeds or have other fillers like raisins that can easily get stuck in your braces. Thankfully there other great breakfast options that you can enjoy with braces which we will talk about next!

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8. Best: Crumpets

Crumpets are very popular in the United Kingdom, however, they are also available in many grocery stores across North America. If you don’t know what a crumpet is, it’s essentially a small griddle cake that is made from unsweetened batter.

They have little flavor but have the dreamiest, lightest texture. Because of this, they would be an excellent breakfast food to eat with braces. Lightly toast them and then enjoy them with butter or your favorite seedless jam!

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9. Worst: Meat From The Bone

Ribs, chicken wings, and steak are great sources of protein, however, they pose a risk to your braces. It’s best to avoid chewy meat while wearing braces because it may create achiness as well as may break the wires.

Further, accidentally biting the bone may cause a bracket to pop off or could cause a wire to break too. Thankfully there are other options great options you can dig into and we’ll explain that next.

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10. Best: Lean Boneless Meat

Luckily there are other great alternatives to chicken wings such as boneless meat that will satisfy your belly and allow you to eat enough protein while wearing braces. It’s best to stick to lean cuts of meat.

Further, it is recommended that you cut the meat into small bite-sized pieces so that it is easier to chew. Some great options are boneless chicken, and lean beef or pork.

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11. Best: Fish

Along with boneless meat, fish is another excellent alternative to meat from the bone. First of all, fish is naturally flaky and soft. This means that eating it while wearing braces should be incredibly easy.

Further, fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which is known to help prevent gum disease. Both salmon and Atlantic mackerel are rich in vitamin D which can help your body absorb calcium and in turn, promote healthy gums and teeth.

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12. Worst: Nuts And Seeds

Nuts and seeds can be enjoyed by the handful and are healthy and nutritious snacks. Unfortunately, while you’re wearing braces it is best to stay clear of them.

Nuts and seeds can easily become stuck in your braces. In some severe cases, they could even break a wire too. Further, if you’ve recently had your braces adjusted biting into a crunchy nut can be quite painful. Thankfully there are other sources of healthy fats that won’t damage your braces and we’ll discuss that next.

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13. Best: Avocados

Avocados are the only fruit that contains monounsaturated fat. While you may be raising a brow at that statement, it’s the good kind of fat!

Thankfully, avocados are a great food to enjoy while wearing braces. Not only are they a great source of healthy fats but they’re incredibly soft which means you can bite into them with ease. Add chopped avocado into your favorite salad, wrap or dig in with a spoon – your choice!

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14. Worst: Popcorn

So you’re heading to a movie with friends and you’re tempted to buy that delicious, salty, buttery popcorn. However, if you have braces you may want to think twice.

The kernels are what make popcorn horrible food to eat with braces. You see, kernels can easily become wedged in your braces and if they’re left for too long, it may cause pain in your gums. Further, if this happens you may have to have your braces removed so that the area can be cleaned out.

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15. Best: Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is the perfect pick me up if you’re feeling under the weather, but it can be an excellent food while wearing braces too. The warm soup can provide comfort to an achy mouth but it can also provide excellent nutrients too.

Chicken noodle soup can be nutrient-dense especially if it’s homemade. The broth is loaded with minerals, gelatin, and collagen all of which promote strong and healthy teeth. Try this Easy Instant Pot Bone Broth recipe and add the broth to your favorite chicken noodle recipe.

Source: Shutterstock

16. Worst: Candy

Those who have a serious sweet tooth understand how hard it is to resist delicious candy. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you’re bound to crave something sweet from time to time. But when it comes to braces, you really should stay clear of candy.

Whether the candy is soft, chewy, sticky, or hard all types of candy are not good for braces. This is because it’s high in sugar and that sugar can easily become trapped in your braces. Further, sugar is a fuel source for bacterial growth and if sugar lingers on your braces, it could cause tooth decay.

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17. Best: Yogurt

Yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium, and probiotics. All of these nutrients can work together to help make your teeth and gums strong and healthy.

Plain yogurt without any added sugar would be best but when you’re craving something sweet feel free to reach for fruity yogurt. Although, it is important to note that you should brush your teeth after eating yogurt to ensure sugar isn’t lingering on your teeth and yes, even plain yogurt has naturally-occurring sugar.

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18. Worst: Ice

Sucking on ice cubes is completely fine and may even provide relief to an achy mouth. However, if you’re a frequent ice chewer then be sure to avoid ice all together this way you won’t be tempted whenever ice is in your mouth.

Ice can wreak havoc on your braces. Further, even chewing on ice without braces is not recommended because it could cause enamel loss as well as tooth decay.

Source: Shutterstock

19. Best: Ice Cream Or Frozen Yogurt

I’m sure you’ll be happy to learn that ice cream and frozen yogurt made the best list. I mean, who doesn’t get excited about ice cream! However, it’s important to note, that these foods should be enjoyed in moderation.

Getting braces put on or adjusted can be painful and may cause your mouth to ache. Rest assured, ice cream is here to the rescue. Not only is it a delicious treat but the cold will provide your mouth some relief. Other cold treats such as popsicles are also acceptable just be sure not to bite into it.

Source: Shutterstock

20. Worst: Gum

Chewing gum is a great option when you need to freshen your breath. However, it is best to avoid chewing gum while you’re wearing braces.

Firstly, chewing gum is incredibly sticky and can get stuck in your braces. Further, it could even bend your wires which could, in turn, lengthen your treatment time. You may want to suck on a mint instead, or simply gargle with mouth wash.

Source: Shutterstock

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21. Best: Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. More importantly, they help build strong bones and teeth because they’re rich in Vitamin D and calcium.

Eggs can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack and even for dinner! They’re also great because they can be cooked in so many different ways such as hard-boiled, scrambled, or poached. But regardless of what cooking method you choose, they’ll always be soft which means it’s an excellent food to eat while wearing braces.

Source: Shutterstock

22. Tip: Slow Down

While this isn’t technically a food, this is a very important tip you should always remember while wearing braces. It’s important that you eat your food slowly and try your best to avoid big bites too. This will help to prevent a sore mouth and will help prevent the wires from breaking.

Source: Shutterstock

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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