Braces are often a necessary tool to straighten teeth and prevent dental issues down the line, however, they can be painful and difficult to deal with. It typically takes time to adapt to the pressure on your teeth, soreness, and dietary changes braces require. With school just around the corner, we want to provide you with the ultimate guide to healthy and delicious foods you can pack for your child’s lunch this year or prepare as an afternoon snack.
Why do Diet Choices Matter with Braces?
If you are new to braces, you may be wondering; Why does what I eat with braces even matter? Braces are highly effective, but they are known to be temperamental. You must be willing to take the necessary precautions to take care of your braces, and avoid bracket breakage or a build-up of food between the teeth.
Foods to Enjoy
Well, now that we got that lecture out of the way, let’s delve into some of the delectable foods you can dig into this school year. Some of our favorite snack ideas include:
- Crunchy foods like sliced apples, carrots, and celery. These can be a great replacement for foods like chips and popcorn.
- Dairy products, such as greek yogurt, string cheese, or cottage cheese for a little extra protein.
- A delicious fruit smoothie. Hot, August days are the perfect time to enjoy this easily customizable snack, and you can add whatever ingredients or toppings you are in the mood for that day.
- Pudding. Who doesn’t love a classic pudding cup? Whether your favorite is chocolate, vanilla, or caramel this is a great, sweet treat you can enjoy with braces.
Quick and Healthy Lunches
School lunches and fast food aren’t always braces-friendly. We’ve come up with five healthy and scrumptious lunches to pack for yourself or your child this school year.
- The Classic: turkey sandwich with pudding and carrot sticks
- Who doesn’t love breakfast for lunch?! Consider bringing pancakes with maple syrup and sausage or even an egg and cheese breakfast burrito.
- Home-cooked chicken noodle soup makes for a nutritious and comforting lunch.
- Ground turkey soft tacos with sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and cheese–an awesome on-the-go option for any age.
- Spaghetti and Meatballs: this classic pasta dish will keep you full for hours and is oh-so-easy to reheat anywhere.
List of Foods to Avoid
Although there are a variety of mouthwatering options to eat this school year, there are also some foods that are not recommended for people with braces. While we don’t want to burst your bubble, it’s important to keep this list in mind, as these foods can cause painful and expensive damage to your braces and/or teeth.
- Gum. Don’t even think about it.
- Hard or chewy candy
- Chips or popcorn
- Pretzels or hard crackers
- Pizza crust
- Corn on the cob
- Toffee or hard chocolate
- Chunky peanut butter
Other Ways to Keep Braces Healthy
Now that you know how to nourish your body with safe and yummy foods, let’s go over some other tips to keep your braces in tip-top shape.
- Brush your teeth regularly- your orthodontist should show you how to properly brush your teeth with braces.
- Be patient- braces take time to work their magic.
- Schedule and attend follow-up visits- it is vital for your orthodontist to check in on your progress.
- Floss, Floss, Floss- flossers and threaders are a great option for flossing with braces.
- Wear your rubber bands- your orthodontist recommended these for a reason. Remember: they are temporary.
If you follow these recommendations diligently and eat a varied, braces-friendly diet your teeth and orthodontist will thank you.
Whether you are considering braces as an adult, have questions about braces for your child, or just need plain-old dental advice, Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas is here to answer your questions and provide quality dental care. You can check out our website or make an appointment anytime. Call us today for a beautiful tomorrow!