What Can I Eat With Braces?

Are you considering braces for yourself or your child but worried you’ll have difficulty creating or finding three braces-friendly meals daily? Concerns about food restrictions are a common fear among potential orthodontic patients, and at Botsford Family Orthodontics, we understand why. Food plays a huge role in our overall well-being and social life, and feeling nervous about disrupting your routine is entirely understandable! However, today, we’d like to dispel the misbelief that braces drastically and inconveniently shrink your grocery list or menu options by answering, “What can I eat with braces?”

Why Do My Food Choices Matter?

Stepping into the world of orthodontics is both thrilling and transformative. But with braces, whether classic metal, aesthetically clear, uniquely custom, or removable aligners, comes the inevitable question: “What foods are off-limits?” 

If you’re sporting clear aligners, you get to enjoy the advantages of removable braces. Unlike traditional braces, clear aligners offer the freedom to eat whatever you fancy. Simply remove them during meals, relish your food, and after a quick brush, place them back in.

Fixed braces, with their intricate brackets and wires, are more durable than ever. However, certain foods might pose a risk by damaging the appliances or getting stubbornly stuck. Maintaining a proper diet isn’t just about preserving the appearance of your braces; it’s about ensuring their good condition so they can work efficiently to gift you that dream smile.

Now, let’s take a more detailed look at what a braces-friendly food menu includes.

What You Can Eat

Starting your braces journey is a commitment to a brighter, straighter smile. But it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste or miss out on your favorite flavors. Let’s explore the delightful array of dishes that are both delicious and braces-friendly:

Soft Fruits

Dive into nature’s candy without worry. Enjoy the sweetness of bananas, the tang of berries, or the tropical taste of kiwi. These fruits are gentle on your braces and packed with essential vitamins. Just be sure they’re soft fruits!

Dairy Delights

Dairy products are a treat for the taste buds and great for teeth. Indulge in creamy yogurt, savor soft cheeses, or sip on a chilled milkshake. They’re calcium-rich and perfect for those with braces.

Grains and Pasta

Carbohydrate cravings? No problem! Opt for soft-cooked rice for a comforting meal, quinoa for a protein-packed side, or dive into a bowl of your favorite pasta. Just ensure it’s cooked to a soft consistency.

Protein Picks

Protein is essential for body repair and muscle growth. Enjoy tender, soft-cooked fish for those omega-3s, appreciate the versatility of tofu or start your day with fluffy scrambled eggs. These options are not only nutritious but also gentle on your braces.


Vegetables are a must for a balanced diet. Go for steamed or boiled options like broccoli, carrots, or green beans. Mashed potatoes, with their creamy texture, are also a fantastic choice. For leafy greens, spinach and lettuce are always good to go. Remember, all hard vegetables need to be cooked or steamed to a soft consistency!


Everyone deserves a treat now and then. Enjoy a scoop of your favorite ice cream (skip the hard toppings), blend a fruit smoothie for a refreshing drink, or indulge in a slice of soft cake. Consume these in moderation and always rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking sugary foods and drinks. This will reduce the amount of sugar that sits on your teeth and can cause cavities.

If you think this list is incomplete, that’s because it is! Though you have to be mindful of what you eat, your braces do not severely restrict your diet. Many of the abovementioned soft foods have endless variations, countless restaurants in Medford to get them from, and recipes to try at home. You are still free to enjoy a wide variety of foods — such as oatmeal, soups, casseroles, burritos and more — and attempting to list them all would be very difficult and time-consuming. 

Have you asked, “What can I eat with braces?” If so we're here to dispel any misbeliefs that braces drastically shrink your grocery list.

What You Can’t Eat

Embracing the world of braces is a commitment to a future of radiant smiles. There are certain foods you would be wise to sidestep to ensure your journey is smooth and effective. These foods can either damage the delicate components of your braces or prove challenging to clean once lodged between brackets and wires, putting your oral health and fresh breath at risk!

Sticky Situations

Foods like caramel, gum, and taffy might be delightful treats, but they can quickly become your worst nightmare. They cling to the brackets and can even pull them off, leading to unplanned orthodontist visits and potential unnecessary discomfort.


Nuts, popcorn, hard taco shells, hard fruits, ice, and hard candies require a strong bite, which can be problematic. These foods can exert pressure on the braces, potentially damaging them or causing discomfort. These foods can also get stuck! For example, popcorn kernels can sneak their way underneath your gums and be difficult to remove with wires and braces in the way.

Chewy Challenges

Pizza crust, licorice, beef jerky, and chewy candies might test the strength of your braces. Their texture can lead to brackets getting pulled off or wires bending out of shape.

Biting Directly Into Foods

While whole apples, whole carrots, and corn on the cob are nutritious and delicious, biting directly into them can be risky. Instead, cut them into smaller, manageable pieces. This way, you can still enjoy them without putting undue pressure on your front brackets.

It’s essential to remember that your dietary adjustments are temporary. They’re small steps to ensure your orthodontic treatment progresses without hitches. And the reward is a stunning, straight smile you’ll cherish for a lifetime, making enduring every food craving completely worth it.

Note: This is meant to be a guideline, not a complete reference list. If you are unsure about a food item, contact our office to ask if it’s braces-friendly. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Two Bonus Food Tips

Before enjoying a mouthful of soft food, make sure there’s nothing crunchy or hard in it. For example, if you’re offered a muffin or ice cream scoop, check that there are no nuts! 

You should also avoid meat with bones because the bones can dislodge your brackets and warp your wires. You still risk ruining your front brackets even if you carefully gnaw on chicken wings or ribs, so opt for soft, bone-free meat every time.

Have you asked, “What can I eat with braces?” If so we're here to dispel any misbeliefs that braces drastically shrink your grocery list.

Start Your Braces Journey With Botsford Family Orthodontics!

To discover which orthodontic treatment option you qualify for, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Botsford at Botsford Family Orthodontics in Medford! We’d love to help you reach your smile goals and help make the transition into braces as seamless as possible.
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