Braces-Friendly Foods

fresh fruits and vegetables

Getting used to braces can take a bit of work, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop eating delicious food. As a general rule, you should avoid sticky or crunchy foods, because they can knock your brackets off and slow down treatment. But don’t despair! Lots of the wonderful soft foods won’t cause any problems and your other favorite options may only require small modifications.

Braces-friendly foods

  • Drinks and snacks like yogurt, smoothies, and milk shakes are great options. Have we mentioned how delicious the shakes at the Counter are? The fact that they are just a hop, skip, and a jump across the street makes them even sweeter. Soft cookies and sugarless gum are sweet alternatives, so if baked goods are more to your tastes, duck across Washington Avenue to visit Three Brothers Bakery. An occasional soft-baked reward is just what the doctor ordered!
  • Delicious soft fruits, like bananas, melons, and grapes, won’t cause any problems with your braces.
  • Other soft foods that are Dr. Cooper-approved include mashed potatoes and pastas like ravioli and macaroni and cheese.

Foods you can enjoy, but may need to modify

While you might not think of fresh fruits and vegetables as a threat to your new braces, a crispy apple or carrot can knock off a bracket as easily as biting into an almond or peanut.
While you might not think of fresh fruits and vegetables as a threat to your new braces, a crispy apple or carrot can knock off a bracket as easily as biting into an almond or peanut.
  • Raw fruit and vegetables are delicious and nutritious – but cut them into small pieces. Break up your bread and cut meat down to size before you enjoy them. The same thing goes for hamburgers and sandwiches.
  • You can still enjoy corn, but only if you cut it off the cob beforehand.

Caution: dangerous foods!

Caramel, toffee, candy bars - sticky foods that are going to stick in your teeth and may pull off a bracket or two in the process are definitely on Dr. Cooper's "avoid" list.
Caramel, toffee, candy bars – sticky foods that are going to stick in your teeth and may pull off a bracket or two in the process are definitely on Dr. Cooper’s “avoid” list.
  • Watch out for sticky foods like caramel and taffy, sugary gum, sticky or hard chocolate.
  • Crunchy foods to avoid – hard chips and pretzels and croutons. You should also avoid chewing ice.
  • Too many sugary drinks like soda, energy or sports drinks, and juice can lead to cavities. Even those doctor-approved shakes above can be a problem if you’re not brushing properly. Make sure you rinse your mouth and drink plenty of water throughout the day, but especially after enjoying something sweet.

Other non-food bad habits to avoid

  • Make sure you don’t chew your fingernails. The extra force against your brackets can knock them loose. And for the students and professionals out there who tend to chew on pens or pencils, the same thing applies.

Before you go, share your favorite braces-friendly foods on your favorite Cooper Orthodontics social media. And as always, make sure to clean up after each meal. That includes brushing, flossing, and cleaning around your brackets and wires. For tips and products that may help, check out these products approved by Dr. Bryn Cooper.