10 Best Foods to Eat After Getting Braces

A little girl with braces is smiling and holding an ice cream cone.

Do you have braces? Congratulations! Now that your orthodontic treatment has begun, you need to pay extra attention to what you eat to ensure the best outcome for your teeth

Certain foods must be avoided due to their ability to damage braces and complicate treatment. However, you can still enjoy several options for delicious food while keeping your smile healthy and beautiful.

What foods are recommended after installing braces?

After your braces are first installed, it is understandable that there can be some minor discomfort and a period of adjustment to your eating and drinking habits. Initially, choosing soft foods that will not put excess pressure on your teeth is recommended. You should also avoid sugary and carbonated beverages until your braces are no longer uncomfortable.

Foods to avoid when you first get your braces on

When first adjusting to your orthodontic treatment and braces, it is best to steer clear of hard and sticky foods. This includes gum, hard candy, pretzels, bagel chips, corn on the cob, hard-shell tacos, popcorn, and crunchy apples or carrots.

It is also important to avoid bite-sized snacks like nuts and potato chips as they can damage your brackets. By avoiding these types of food after first getting your braces, you will have a much easier time caring for and maintaining your braces in the long run.

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Foods to eat after getting braces

It might seem difficult to watch your friend and family eat the things you enjoy but cannot have because you have braces. However, there are plenty of food options that you can enjoy as you adjust to life with braces, including these ten best foods to eat after getting braces.

1. Yogurt

Yogurt is soft and cold, which makes it easy to consume and even helps to alleviate oral pain. Also, yogurt is available in many different styles and flavors, so you can choose what fits your tastes the best. Just be careful with particularly sugary yogurts, and make sure to keep your mouth and braces clean. 

2. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is another excellent option if your mouth is sore after getting braces. The warmth of the oatmeal can even help with swelling and inflammation. It’s also easy to prepare and can be ready to eat in minutes if you want a quick breakfast or snack option.

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3. Bananas

Ripe bananas are a healthy choice to curb your hunger after having your braces installed. Try to choose slightly brown bananas, which means they’re softer and will put less pressure on your teeth. The softer the banana, the easier it will be for you to chew. You can even add a banana to your oatmeal or yogurt for an extra treat!

woman with braces eating a banana

4. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are easy to prepare and effortless to consume because virtually no chewing is required. If you don’t want to make homemade mashed potatoes, opt for instant potatoes that can be done in the microwave or on the stovetop by adding just a few ingredients. Another potato alternative is baked potatoes that you can smash up and add some butter, chili, or shredded cheese. 

5. Jello

Jello is a staple go-to for anyone having oral surgery or orthodontic treatment. It’s easy to consume and can make for a refreshingly light snack or dessert. Add whipped cream to the top, and you’ll have a decadent treat that won’t affect your braces. Remember, certain flavors have higher amounts of sugar, increasing plaque and risk of cavities. 

6. Eggs

Eggs are simple to prepare and can be eaten in various ways. They are a great way to get protein in your diet after you get braces, especially if eating steak or chicken is causing you too much discomfort. Hard-boiled or fried eggs are fine, but you may find scrambled, poached, or fried eggs easier to chew.

7. Smoothies

Smoothies are packed with fiber and vitamins, making them a wonderfully nutritious option when avoiding solid foods after having your braces installed. Adding various frozen or thawed fruits into a blender will allow you to enjoy a cold, tasty treat or meal substitute. Try adding some spinach or other greens to get a serving of vegetables as well!

woman drinking a smoothie to protect her new braces

8. Soups and Broth

Soups and broths are an obvious choice after getting braces because they are easy to eat, require little to no chewing, and help relieve pain and inflammation. Be sure to choose soups with plenty of veggies for a well-balanced meal. Blended soups, such as creamy soups, pasta soups, or bisques, are also great options.

9. Applesauce

Applesauce is a great food choice when dealing with pain and discomfort from braces. It can be enjoyed at room temperature or cold, depending on your own tastes. It’s also an easy snack to pack in your bag or purse for days when you’re on the go. Additionally, it’s a great source of fiber and low in saturated fats, so you know you’re getting a healthy snack with applesauce.

10. Ice Cream

Ice cream isn’t just delicious, but the cold temperature can help with discomfort and relieve inflammation and swelling you might be experiencing after you get braces. Other options you can consider are gelatos, sherbets, and sorbets. 

Avoid hard ice creams or ones with chunks of ingredients mixed in. The last thing you want to do is to bite down on a chewy marshmallow or hard piece of chocolate and damage your braces.

Regular dental cleanings help keep teeth healthy and strong. Schedule an appointment with Absolute Dental today.

What other foods are best to eat with braces?

You can enjoy any food that is not hard, crunchy, or sticky. Some of the many possibilities include:

  • Soft cheeses
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Mac n cheese
  • Spaghetti
  • Ravioli
  • Soft shell tacos
  • Breads
  • Fish filets
  • Soft fruits (berries, peaches, etc.)
  • Cooked veggies
  • Rice
  • Chili
  • Soft-crust cheese pizza

What foods should be avoided until after treatment?

Both metal braces and ceramic braces involve brackets and wiring, making cleaning your teeth difficult. Even with the best toothbrush and orthodontic-approved flossing device, reaching certain areas can still be impossible. Because of this, avoiding certain foods that can get caught in hard-to-reach areas is critical. 

Likewise, avoid foods that cause stains and leave your teeth discolored after removing the braces. As mentioned, hard, crunchy, and sticky foods should also be avoided. 

When can you start eating normal food after getting braces?

It usually takes 1-2 weeks for your mouth to get used to the braces and feel comfortable eating regular foods again. However, you should still adjust your eating habits to avoid foods that could damage your braces and complicate treatment. 

How to care for your braces

  • Brush your teeth after every meal to remove unwanted food particles and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and other health risks
  • Use a specialty toothbrush designed for braces or a powered toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Floss daily using an interdental flosser or threader that wraps around each bracket and allows the floss to move between your teeth without snapping a bracket off during cleaning. Ensure to get under the archwires as well as you can to properly remove all plaque buildup.
  • Visit your orthodontist at least once a month for an adjustment appointment so they can make sure everything stays on track while you’re wearing your braces
  • Avoid foods that could cause damage to brackets and wires during chewing
  • Limit the number of sugary sodas or juices you drink
  • Drink plenty of water to help remove sugar and food particles so it does not become plaque

Braces aftercare

teen brushing her teeth with braces

After you finish your treatment plan and your braces are removed, it is essential to follow an aftercare plan. Your teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year to ensure your teeth are not moving and good oral health is maintained. 

You may need to have your bite re-evaluated by an orthodontist in the future to determine if any post-orthodontic issues affect the alignment of your teeth. Additionally, continue brushing and flossing regularly as part of regular dental hygiene.

Maintain regular dental visits for cleanings to make sure all tartar buildup is removed. Sometimes, retainers may also be prescribed, depending on individual cases, to help keep newly aligned teeth in place until bones remodel naturally into their new positions.

Affordable braces in Las Vegas and Reno 

When you need an orthodontist and affordable braces in the Las Vegas or Reno area, you can count on Absolute Dental. We offer comprehensive orthodontic treatments that will help you achieve your ideal smile. From traditional metal or ceramic braces to more advanced options, like clear braces and Invisalign, our team is here to provide the perfect solution to help you achieve a beautiful smile

Sources: 

Caring for Braces: You’re on Your Way to a Healthy Smile. (2023).

Do I Need Braces Quiz: Discover If Orthodontics Might Be In Your Future. (2023).

What Is the Best Age for Braces? (2023).

About the Author

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Dr. Joan Landron

Currently serving the community at Absolute Dental since August 2008, Dr. Joan Landron graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1997.

She further honed her skills with a general practice residency at Metropolitan Hospital and underwent specialized training at New York University’s Implant Program for General Practitioners. Specializing in services such as X-rays, examinations, cleanings, crowns, and more, Dr. Landron brings a comprehensive approach to general and cosmetic dentistry, including implants.

A proud member of the American Dental Association, Nevada Dental Association, and Southern Nevada Dental Association, she cherishes her free time by spending moments with family, reading, and maintaining her health through exercise. Dr. Landron takes immense pride in being a part of the Absolute Dental team and is dedicated to her patients at the Absolute Dental – Nellis in Las Vegas, ensuring they receive the best care possible.

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