10 Things Your Child Should Never Eat With Braces

What to eat and not eat with braces

A change in diet doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

If your child just got braces, you’re probably wondering what types of foods they can eat with braces. With such a big investment in their smile, the last thing you want to do is allow them to eat something that’s bad for their braces or could cause a bigger problem down the road. 

But your child, on the other hand, is probably worrying that they’ll only be able to eat soft, boring foods. They may fear that they won’t be able to enjoy anything delicious. We’re here to tell you that while there are restrictions on what foods your child can and can’t eat with braces, there are plenty of healthy and tasty options they can sink their teeth into!

​​Foods You Can Eat With Braces

At Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Vancouver, Washington, we like to focus on the positives. And the truth is your kids do not need to stick to a soft diet for the next couple of years while their braces work their magic. Understanding what your child can and can’t eat with braces will make future meal planning easier.

Check out this list of 10 foods kids can eat with braces.

  1. Pasta: Who doesn’t love a great bowl of spaghetti? Pasta is also a great choice when their teeth are tender from an adjustment.
  2. Mashed potatoes: Can you say butter, chives, and sour cream?
  3. Meats with no bones: No pesky bones to cut around.
  4. Soft veggies: Veggies sautéed in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper are the best!
  5. Fruits: They can enjoy blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, especially when their teeth are tender after getting their wires adjusted.
  6. Soups: Soups are hearty and delicious, especially on a cold day in Vancouver.
  7. Dairy products: Bring on the yogurt, cheese, and milk, which are all good for your teeth and bones!
  8. Soft breads and sandwiches: What kid doesn’t love soft bread?
  9. Casseroles: The more cheese, the better. 
  10. Pizza (without the crusty edge): Easy peasy—just cut off the edge of that crust, and you’re good to go (and many parents love the crust the most anyway).

Food to Avoid With Braces

Now that you know the types of foods your child can enjoy with braces (pasta, anyone?), let’s talk about the foods that should be avoided. The following foods are not part of a braces-friendly diet and won’t help maintain a healthy smile in braces

  1. Pizza crust: Cut off that crisp, chewy edges and save it for yourself.
  2. Nuts of any kind: The small particles tend to get stuck in braces and are difficult to remove.
  3. Chips: These ​​can not only damage your child’s wires, but they can also cause the brackets to break.
  4. Popcorn: Those tiny kernels are troublemakers.
  5. Crunchy vegetables: Though they are good for your kid’s teeth and body, they aren’t so good for braces and the delicate wires.
  6. Hard or chewy candies and snacks: Just say no to Jolly Ranchers, lollipops, and beef jerky. 
  7. Sticky candies: Taffy and gummy bears are a no-no.
  8. Gum: Stick to the sugar-free options.
  9. Apples: When your child has braces, you’ll want to cut the apple in slices and peel it.
  10. Corn on the cob: Those kernels sure do stick to the cob! Better to cut them off the cob and eat the fresh kernels that way.

No one wants to deal with the headache (or mouth-ache) that comes from broken braces. And I’m sure you’d rather not spend your weekend at an emergency orthodontics appointment. By teaching your child to stick to certain foods and avoid others, like soda and candy, their braces will be far more likely to do their job effectively, giving your kid a smile they will love. 

Now is a great time to enjoy fun foods, like yogurt, Jell-O, and macaroni and cheese, instead.

Combine proper oral care with the right foods to have an excellent orthodontic experience.

Aside from avoiding troublesome foods, the next best thing your child can do is practice good oral care. Brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash, and using an oral irrigator to rinse particles away will help protect your child’s teeth. 

And, in addition to orthodontic visits, be sure to take your child to their kids’ dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and oral examination. Since braces can still break or poke due to other things, keep things like dental wax and Orajel on hand at home, and don’t be afraid to call the dentist if you need help.

If your child is overdue for a dental cleaning in Vancouver, Washington, now is the time to request an appointment with Must Love Kids Pediatric Dentistry. We look forward to seeing you and your child.