Having braces can take some getting used to, especially when it comes to developing a healthy diet for your child. You want to make sure their diet is balanced, but you also want to avoid orthodontic emergencies. Determining this balance ahead of time is key, but luckily your children’s dentist in Newtown is prepared to make that process simple.
As long as you know which foods to avoid and which ones to put in front of your child throughout the day, you’ll be golden.
The Worst Foods for Traditional Braces
Most of these foods are sugary or starchy snacks that your dentist says you should avoid with or without braces. Some of them are even healthy alternatives to less healthy snacks. However, because of their hard texture, they can easily damage the hardware used by traditional braces. They include:
- Corn chips
- Hard taco shells
- Sticky and hard candy or chocolate
- Hard cookies or crackers
Your orthodontist in Newtown will likely mention early on how detrimental gum can be to braces. If your child is used to enjoying minty gum, suggest they eat mints instead. Also, it’s important they avoid chewing on ice if they already have the habit. Not only can this easily crack teeth, but it can damage hardware, causing a dental emergency.
The Best Foods for Traditional Braces
The more hard or crunchy foods you replace for your child, the better off they’ll be during their orthodontic treatment. Shop for softer foods that don’t easily get stuck in braces. Even if they do get stuck, these foods are easy to rinse out with water. They include:
- Soft fruits like bananas, grapes, and oranges
- Steamed vegetables
- Soft-cooked chicken, turkey, meatballs, and deli meats
- Seafood like tuna, salmon, cod, and crab
- Grains like noodles, pasta, and rice
- Soft breads like flower tortillas, biscuits, pancakes, and muffins
- Eggs, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products
Keep in mind that your child can still enjoy an occasional dessert that isn’t tough or crunchy. Foods like ice cream, pudding, smoothies, juices, jelly, and gelatin can be enjoyed in moderation, even when wearing braces.
These Foods Work, But Require Additional Preparation
Some foods wouldn’t be okay to eat in their natural state with braces. However, with the right preparation, your child can safely eat them without risk of damaging their hardware. For example, eating crunchy foods like apples and carrots would be dangerous for braces. By cutting them into bite-sized portions, your child can still enjoy them.
This is also the case for more substantial meats like ribs or vegetables like corn. Instead of eating corn off the cob or ribs directly off the bone, remove them prior to serving them to your child.
Now that you know which foods are safe to eat, you can start meal planning their breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you need more advice on the best foods to eat with braces, schedule a visit with your children’s dentist in Newtown today!
About the Author
Dr. Michael D. Roth earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Georgetown University School of Dentistry. In 1986, he earned his certificate in orthodontics. Today, he teaches orthodontics on a weekly basis. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (215) 579-9900 or visit his website.