What Can I Eat with Metal Braces?

While wearing traditional metal braces, you’ll need to avoid foods that are sticky and/or hard to chew. Otherwise, you risk damaging the metal wires and brackets on your teeth. During your first appointment, we’ll advise you on what foods to avoid during orthodontic treatment. But you can also check out our guide here to see what’s safe to eat with metal braces.

Here’s what you need to know.

Smiling Teenage Girl With Metal Braces

What to Eat When You First Get Braces

Dental braces work by exerting constant but gentle pressure on your teeth. That’s why your teeth may feel sensitive during the first few days of wearing braces. While this discomfort is temporary, it can also interfere with your ability to eat your favorite foods.

During the first few days of wearing metal braces, we recommend that patients eat soft foods that require minimal chewing.

Foods to eat while your teeth feel sensitive from braces:

  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Soft fruits 
  • Cooked or soft vegetables
  • Soft breads
  • Soft cheeses
  • Oatmeal
  • Scrambled eggs

In addition to eating soft foods, you may also take over-the-counter pain relievers to help reduce sensitivity. The tooth sensitivity will go away after a few days or a week. Once that happens, you’ll be able to enjoy more variety in your diet.

What to Eat During the Rest of Orthodontic Treatment

The tooth sensitivity after first getting braces is temporary. But that doesn’t mean you can go back to eating whatever you want once the sensitivity passes. You’ll still need to avoid foods that are hard to chew and/or sticky.

Foods to avoid with metal braces:

  • Gum
  • Hard or chewy candy
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Ice
  • Bagels or other chewy breads
  • Crunchy vegetables
  • Hard fruits

If you eat these foods, you’re more likely to break a wire or damage a bracket.

Reduce Your Sugar Intake

In general, we also recommend that child and adult orthodontic patients reduce how much sugar they consume. Reducing your sugar intake will help reduce plaque and tartar buildup in the long run. It’ll also help reduce your risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.

The bacteria (plaque) that live in your mouth love to eat any sugar particles left behind on your teeth and gums after you eat. They then produce an acid that erodes the enamel and attacks your gums.

Oral hygiene is of utmost importance when you have metal braces. This is because plaque can hide around your brackets and under wires where it’s difficult to reach with a toothbrush. Make sure you continue to brush your teeth after every meal and floss once a day.

If you need help with oral hygiene, please don’t hesitate to ask our orthodontist and her friendly staff any questions you may have. We’d be more than happy to show you how to take care of your smile during orthodontic treatment. For example, if you’re having trouble with flossing, we can show you how to use a floss threader to get underneath your wires.

Request an Appointment with Us

Dr. Nicole Siara-Olds is a board-certified orthodontist in Milford, Michigan, who’s accepting new patients of all ages. To request an appointment, please call Siara-Olds Orthodontics at (248) 684-6833. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.