What Foods Should I Avoid with Metal Braces?

Our orthodontist in Ann Arbor, MI, is excited to help you on your journey to a healthier, more attractive smile. However, to set yourself up for success, it’s important that you know what foods to avoid with metal braces. That way, you’ll be able to maintain good oral hygiene and stay focused on your smile goals.

Ann Arbor Orthodontist Metal Braces

Here’s what you need to know.

What Can I Eat with Metal Braces Right Away?

When you first get your traditional metal 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 will go away after a few days.

Once you get used to wearing dental 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 to reduce the strain on your teeth. We recommend soups, yogurts, shakes, mashed potatoes, and other soft foods.

Once the pain subsides, continue staying away from foods that are sticky and/or hard to chew.

Can I Eat __________ With Braces?

Here are some of the most common foods we get asked about.

  • Pizza: Thin-crust pizza is usually easier for patients with braces to eat. The thick crust can be difficult to chew while wearing dental braces. If you have no control over the type of pizza, eat the pizza but leave the thick crust behind.
  • French Fries: As long as they aren’t burnt, french fries should be safe for your traditional metal braces. Chew with caution if you encounter any particularly crunchy fries.
  • Chips: Most chips are fine, but use your best judgment. Ripple potato chips and pita chips tend to be harder to chew than thinner potato chips.
  • Bread: Stay away from croutons, french bread, hard rolls, and other bread that is difficult to chew. These may break your braces. Soft bread is fine, although the bread might get stuck in your braces. Be sure to thoroughly clean your teeth after eating soft bread.
  • 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 fine with dental braces. But skip the croutons if they look too crunchy!
  • Chocolate: Chocolate is safe to eat with braces. But you may want to limit how many sweets you eat during orthodontic treatment. The bacteria inside your mouth that causes cavities and gum disease love to eat sugar.

By now, you may have recognized a pattern. You should avoid foods that are sticky and/or hard to chew during orthodontic treatment. That way, you’ll be able to avoid any emergencies during treatment.

What If I Damage My Braces by Accident?

We’re all human. For this reason, we have to be kind to ourselves during the challenges we encounter during orthodontic treatment. If you can’t avoid the temptation of chewy foods and end up damaging your braces, there’s no sense in beating yourself up over it. Simply call our office and we’ll try to fit you into our schedule as soon as possible.

Depending on the extent of damage, you may be able to apply a temporary fix at home until your next checkup. For other types of damage, you may need to see our team right away. Please call our office to determine your next steps.

What About Invisalign® Aligners?

Invisalign aligners are removable. This means that you’ll be able to continue eating whatever you want during treatment. However, you’ll need to make sure you brush your teeth after you eat so you don’t stain your clear aligners.

Being able to eat an unrestricted diet is one of the major benefits of Invisalign treatment. But 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 aligners any time you feel discomfort.

Teens and adults are usually motivated enough to work past the temporary discomfort to achieve their smile goals.

Related: 7 Things to Know Before Getting Invisalign →

Schedule an Orthodontic Consultation

Our orthodontist in Ann Arbor, MI, would be more than happy to help you explore your treatment options. To request an appointment, please call Enhance Family Dentistry & Orthodontics at (734) 821-7676. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

This blog post has been updated.

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