Brace-Friendly Foods: Nourishing Your Body While Under Orthodontic Care

One of the most challenging things for people to commit to when it comes to braces is the dietary changes they’ll have to make. They tend to focus on the foods they are not allowed to eat rather than viewing this time as an opportunity to expand their menu and discover new favorite foods. Unless you want a lecture from your Melbourne orthodontist, you should figure out ways to maintain a healthy, nutritious, and delicious diet of brace-friendly foods while undergoing treatment.

When You First Get Braces

The first few days when you have braces will be the most uncomfortable. Eating might seem like a chore when you’re getting used to the pressure that they place on your teeth. The metal wires and brackets against the insides of your teeth will also take a few days to get used to. The best strategy during these days is to stick to soft foods only:

  • Soups
  • Pasta
  • Seafood
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Soft cheeses
  • Mashed potatoes

Some soft foods are okay, but you may want to avoid them when experiencing tooth sensitivity. These include spicy foods, citrus fruits, ice cream, or hot or cold foods.

Now, let’s examine the various food groups and some ways to maintain a nutritious diet while wearing braces.

Meats and Protein

You must be careful with meat and protein because we tend to bite and tear at them. Any meat on the bone, such as fried chicken or ribs, should be avoided with braces because they can potentially damage them.

Think of ways to soften meats to get enough healthy protein in your diet. Instead of steak, have meatloaf or meatballs. Shredded chicken, pork, or steak is fine. Suppose you’re not already using a slow cooker. In that case, it should become a regularly used item in your kitchen because it can soften meats for soups, stews, enchiladas, and other entrĂ©es that are soft and easy to manage.

Fish, eggs, and tofu can all be prepared soft, so those should also be regular menu items. Lunchmeat is also smooth enough to manage, although you may want to watch the sodium intake on prepared meats like these.


Dairy products are great because their calcium and vitamin D support healthy bone and tooth structure. Milk, yogurt, and pudding are all great choices. Cottage cheese is also easy to manage with braces. Hard cheeses, such as a piece of cheddar, can be challenging to clean from your teeth and braces after eating it. An easy way to soften hard cheeses is by melting them into a grilled cheese sandwich and cutting them into bite-sized pieces.

Breads and Grains

Breads and rolls tend to be chewy, making getting off the teeth and braces challenging. Fortunately, there are pastas and plenty of other brace-friendly ways to get grains in your diet. Mac and cheese, cooked pasta, or spaghetti (remember the meatballs) are great choices. Standbys like pancakes or waffles, oatmeal, or muffins (with no nuts) are acceptable for breakfast. Rice is also suitable, so it is thoroughly cooked and soft.

Fruits and Veggies

The rule of thumb with fruits and vegetables is to avoid them if they crunch when you bite them. You don’t want to eat a fresh apple from the tree because it can hurt your braces. However, if it’s in the form of applesauce, it’s OK to eat. Steam any crunchy vegetables. Stick to softer fruits like bananas, grapes, and watermelon.

Making Sure Your Child Eats

Most braces patients are between the ages of 11 and 14. This age group can be particularly self-conscious about eating in front of others, especially when braces are new. Research published in the Journal of Orthodontics has shown that some kids will skip out on eating entirely while at school rather than risk embarrassment by eating in front of their friends. Parents need to pack lunches for their children with braces so that they have food choices they can eat comfortably in front of their friends.

If you have any questions about healthy foods or maintaining your diet with braces, Contact Us at Reddick Orthodontics in Melbourne.