The Best Braces Friendly Recipes
One of the biggest habit changes you’ll need to adopt after getting braces is a dietary one. Whether it’s to keep your braces in perfect working order (and working towards the perfect smile), or to ensure best dental hygiene practice, most people will need to adapt their diet.
Naturally, one of the first questions orthodontists get is ‘what can I eat?’ So, we’re providing a run-down of some tasty treats and healthy snacks that you can enjoy that won’t inhibit your treatment.
Sometimes, you’ll need to get your braces tightened. Afterwards, many people find it uncomfortable to eat hard foods, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat well.
A ‘‘soft’ diet can be tasty and nutritious. Smoothies, soft fruits like bananas and strawberries, and ice cream are great options for sweets, while soft foods like pasta, scrambled eggs and soups are great savoury options. Most veggies are also safe, just make sure they’re well steamed or boiled. For meats, try mince in a spaghetti Bolognese or in a stew or casserole, fish is also a great option.
No matter your choice, chew with care, and use dental wax to cover any areas that might be irritating your gums.
If your previous breakfast involved thick-crusted breads or hard fruits, you’ll need to expand your palate. As above, soft fruits are great options and are tasty with Greek yoghurt. Overnight oats, soaked and supple, will give long-lasting energy throughout the day. You can also treat yourself with a version of French toast. Frying in egg and soaking in milk will take care of any hard crust and topping with cinnamon adds a punch of flavour without the need for extra sugar.
There are plenty of traditional lunchbox foods you can continue to enjoy with braces, but there are some that will cause you trouble.
Classics like soft-crust sandwiches and bananas can stay, as can other snack fruits like mandarins. Fruit or savory muffins are a good source of energy.
If you want to get creative, here is a list of delicious lunchbox foods you can eat with braces:
- Pastas, like macaroni and cheese
- Meatloaf or meatballs
- Egg or tuna salad
- Shredded chicken
- Salads that don’t have small crunchy pieces like nuts or croutons
- Fried rice
Some familiar lunchbox foods you’ll need to stay away from includes hard fruits many small nibbles (sadly, that means chips). Here’s a list of lunchbox foods to stay away from:
- Hard-crusted breads like bagels or baguettes
- Hard treats like lollipops
- Corn on the cob.
- Chewy meats like steak or beef jerky
- Corn chips and pretzels
While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, dinner may soon become your favourite. While breakfast and lunch can often feature uncooked foods, dinners are typically cooked and therefore are rife with safe foods for braces.
However, there are some food types you will need to stay away from. Just like a chewy steak isn’t ideal, neither are ribs and chops — or any boned meat for that matter. Many fried foods like potato chips will cause complications, as will savoury goods like pizzas and pastry pies as the crust may be too hard. Staining is also an issue, with things like beetroot and turmeric-flavoured meals i.e. curries requiring extra diligence and cleaning to avoid permanently staining braces. Some foods are unique to special occasions, and we have a handy guide for foods you can eat at Christmas.
Now for the good stuff. Swap pastry pies for shepherd’s pie, and chewy meats for things like soft brisket. Bolognese is still on the menu (with diced carrots) and you can still enjoy Mexican foods with salsas, just stay away from hard corn chips. Many healthy Asian rice and noodle dishes are also safe.
It seems like a lot, but you’ll soon grow accustomed to which foods are good for your braces. If it doesn’t have small, hard objects or chewy elements like sinew or taffy, chances are you’re good to go. If you’re ever in doubt, reference this article on safe eating with braces and your road to a healthy smile won’t be a bumpy one.
Need More Information?
The best place to start is by getting in touch with your local orthodontist using our finder. They’ll be happy to give personalised advice on any of the above topics.
For more on braces, read about how to care for them, how to survive special occasions wearing them, and our five life hacks for living with them.