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What Can You Not Eat With Braces?

Orthodontists in Grandville, MI

One of the most frustrating things for our patients is not being able to eat their favorite foods while wearing dental braces. When you have traditional metal braces, you always have to be careful of the wires and brackets on your teeth.

Continue reading to learn what you can’t eat with traditional metal braces. Our orthodontists will also tell you why you may want to consider Invisalign® (nearly invisible aligners) instead.

What Can You Eat the First Week of Braces?

When you first get your dental braces, you may not want to eat food that requires a lot of chewing. This is normal. When you first get braces, you’ll feel pressure on your teeth that’ll go away after a few days. The good news is that once you get used to wearing teeth braces, the pain won’t be as bad when you return to our office for adjustments.

During this period, it may help to eat soft foods. We recommend soups, yogurts, shakes, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and other soft foods. Once the pain subsides, continue staying away from foods that are sticky and/or hard to chew.

Patients are often concerned about being able to eat:

  • Pizza
  • French Fries
  • Chips
  • Bread
  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Salad
  • Chocolate

Can I Eat __________ With Braces?

  • Pizza

    Eat thin-crust pizza. Thick crust can be difficult to chew while wearing dental braces. If you have no control over what pizza is ordered, eat the pizza, but leave the thick crust behind.

  • French Fries

    As long as they aren’t burnt to a blackened crisp, french fries should be safe for your traditional metal braces.

  • Chips

    Most chips are fine, but use your best judgement. Ripple potato chips tend to be harder to chew.

  • Bread

    Stay away from croutons, french bread, hard rolls, and other breads that are difficult to chew. Soft breads are fine.

  • Steak and Chicken

    Since meat can be stringy, it’s easy to get little pieces stuck between teeth. We recommend cutting meat into bite-sized pieces. If possible, choose meats that are lean and tender.

  • Salad

    Salads are just fine with dental braces. Just skip the croutons!

  • Chocolate

    Chocolate is safe to eat with braces. Yet, you may want to limit how much chocolate and other sweets you eat during orthodontic treatment. Cavities and gum disease are caused by plaque, an invisible film of bacteria that loves sugar. When sugar is left behind, plaque uses it to produce cavity-causing acid.

Hopefully by now, you’ve recognized a pattern. You should avoid foods that are sticky and/or hard to chew during orthodontic treatment. The last thing you want is to pull off a bracket by accident because you thought you’d take your chances with a piece of taffy.

Ask Our Orthodontists About Invisalign

Since Invisalign braces are removable, you’ll be able to continue eating whatever you want during orthodontic treatment. Just make sure you brush your teeth after you eat so you don’t stain your clear aligners.

Keep in mind that not all our patients are candidates for Invisalign. To be a candidate you must be a teenager or adult who has the willpower to wear aligners. Otherwise, the temptation will be too great to remove your new pair of Invisalign braces when they hurt during the first few days. Teens and adults are usually motivated enough to work past the temporary discomfort to achieve the smiles they’ve always wanted.

Our orthodontists in Grand Rapids and Grandville are ready to help you smile with confidence. Whether you choose traditional metal braces or Invisalign, you can trust our combined years of experience. To request an appointment, call Armbrecht & Wierenga Orthodontics at (616) 455-4800. We look forward to hearing from you!