foods to each or not eat with braces

Food to eat with new fixed braces

The twin blocks attempt of last year has long gone, and finally the fixed braces have been put on.  After a visit the next day to fix 2 brackets back on, a week’s passed, and all’s going well.  But there’s a getting used to braces stage, in particular on the eating side that needs thinkin about.  So what’s safe food to eat with braces?

foods to each or not eat with braces

Fixed braces can be quite delicate. Asking around, some people seem to have no issues with theirs. While other tweens and teens end up going backwards and forwards to the orthodontist to get theirs fixed for various reasons.

If you eat the wrong things, you can break the wires, twang the bands, knock the brackets off, get food caught in them, stain the teeth more. The latter I imagine the brackets being removed after a year or 18 months of coffee drinking and curry eating to find little white squares left on teeth. Like moving paintings from walls years later!

With new braces, your teeth and gums need to get used to them as well, so there’s food you’re advised to stick to for the first day or so – soft foods.  Then you’re told the food you should avoid with braces as well, basically hard foods and sticky foods because of the brace breakages, and the increased difficulty in tooth brushing.

For the first dinner post braces fitting, I’d done pasta and bolognese which was easy to eat. Thankfully N didn’t suffer with gum inflamation, and he only had one sensitive tooth for a few days. So he did move faster than I expected off the softer foods.

Asking friends with braces, they said most foods haven’t been a problem, as long as they cut it up smaller, and chewed on the back teeth.  But there’s some that he’s realised he’s going to have to give up totally until the braces are off – sweets (including cough sweets) as they can stick to teeth, mini eggs because they’re just too hard, pizza crusts, and crusty bread. Oh, and I’ve realised he’ll have to miss out on pork crackling too.  All the more for me!  

Seeded bread is a watch out too, as the seeds can get caught as well as some suggesting soft bread can get gunked on braces too.  So the orthodontist was very clear about 3 times a day brushing. Or at least during school trying to use interdental brushes in absence of brushing after lunch.

Anyway, onto the suggested food to eat with braces especially in the early days as teeth are more sensitive.

teen girl close up of mouth with fixed braces

Foods good for eating with fixed braces

  • Mash – try adding cabbage to make a colcannaon for extra greens.
  • Soups
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Yoghurt
  • Porridge
  • Chilli con carne
  • Bolognese
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Smoothies
  • Omelette
  • Fish
  • Soft fruits – berries
  • Melon
  • Cucumber
  • Citrus fruits

Tips on coping with harder foods

Generally though we’ve found most things are ok, as long as they’re chopped up small. 

Beans on toast – as long as the crusts are soft from the beans and cut small it worked well early on in his braces journey.

For bread rolls, cut them up into pieces, rather than biting down into the whole roll. 

Crisps initially we’ve stuck with softer crisps that ‘melt’ rather than really crunchy ones (so Chipsticks, Skips etc rather than McCoys).

For meat again it’s cutting into smaller pieces, or tenderising the meat first – with a tenderiser, or marinading it before cooking.

teens with braces eating pizza

Foods to avoid eating with braces

  • Pizza crusts
  • Crusty bread (seeds from granary bread can also get caught in braces)
  • Bagels
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Raw crunchy fruit and veg like carrots and apples.  Apples can be sliced and diced smaller and chewed with the back teeth. For pears, make sure they’re very ripe (or eat tinned fruit in juice rather than syrup).
  • Corn on the cob – eat it as sweetcorn rather than on the cob.
  • Gum
  • Crackers
  • Biscuits
  • Taco shells.  Stick with soft tortillas instead.
  • Sticky sweets and puddings.
  • Fizzy drinks (just in general really, but in particular with braces, I presume the stickiness, and the staining, wearing of the enamel.
  • Crispy jacket potato skins

I can’t really remember my childhood experience of braces because mine was a plate/retainer, so I probably took it out to eat (I only really remember removing it for playing the clarinet). But this list is a good start point for your children wondering what they’ll be able to cope with, and what the watch out foods are when first getting braces.

How have your children found them, and what foods did they eat or avoid with braces?

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  1. Ahh! My eldest had fixed braces and really struggled in the first few weeks with eating. She survived on mashed potatoes and gravy, pasta and lots of custard. After that she really missed chewy sweets, popcorn and whole apples.
    Good luck to N with his braces. x

    1. We’re already going back a second time for another bracket that’s come loose. He’s found the food OK, but yes lots of rice, pasta, mash