Summer is officially here and for the Carolina Oaks team, that means one thing: it’s time for backyard BBQs and patio parties with all our favorite summer foods. This summer might look a little different than we’re used to, but we’re excited to enjoy everything that summer has to offer … in a safe, physically distant way, of course!
But as much as we all love grilling up burgers and corn on the cob, many of our Upstate South Carolina orthodontic patients have braces. This can make it trickier to know what’s safe to eat with braces and what foods to avoid. Soft foods, like ice cream or potato salad, are delicious braces-friendly foods, but if you’re a corn fanatic, you’ll have to cut it off the cob during treatment. Sorry!
Not sure which summer foods you can eat with braces? Carolina Oaks has you covered.
Summer Foods to Avoid with Braces
Well, we have to start somewhere so we might as well get the negatives out of the way. Yes, it’s true that there are certain foods you can’t eat with braces. It’s not because we want you to be miserable during treatment — we just want to make sure you get the safest, most effective and most efficient treatment possible.
There are a few reasons you should avoid certain foods with braces. First, some foods can cause damage to your hardware, which can set your treatment timeline back. We love to see your smiling face, but during braces treatment, the less we have to see you, the better! Second, certain types of food can get stuck behind your braces, making it harder to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. Third, your teeth will be somewhat sensitive when you first begin treatment, and after each time you get your braces tightened. That’s why it’s best to stick to softer foods that are easier on your teeth and jaw.
So what foods should you avoid with braces? Basically, anything that’s hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy, or any foods you bite into. When it comes to summer foods for braces, you’ll want to skip hard or crunchy snacks like popcorn, raw veggies, nuts or chips, chewy candies or marshmallows (yep, even in s’ mores!), and, of course, corn on the cob or whole apples.
Braces-Friendly Summer Foods
Okay, now that you’re an expert in what not to eat with braces, you’re probably wondering what summer foods you can safely enjoy. Fortunately, there are tons of tasty summer treats you can eat with braces, so you’ll never feel like you’re missing out.
Soft foods will be your go-to during treatment. We always recommend potatoes to our Upstate South Carolina orthodontic patients because they’re soft enough not to irritate your teeth and one of the most versatile foods out there. Summer favorites like baked potatoes, sweet potato wedges or potato salad are all staples of any braces-friendly diet. Same goes for other soft foods like yogurt, pudding, steamed veggies, milkshakes, ice cream and smoothies. Cold foods in particular are great for braces because they can soothe sensitive gums.
You’ll also be able to enjoy grilled meats with braces, such as boneless chicken breasts, fish or pork. It’s best to avoid tougher meats like steak or beef jerky, but hamburgers (or veggie burgers) on soft buns can be safe for braces as long as you cut them into smaller bites.
As for other summer side dishes that are braces-approved, go for veggie skewers, salads, baked beans or even chilli. As long as there isn’t anything hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy, you’re pretty much in the clear to eat all the summer foods you know and love.
We know there’s a lot to get used to when you first start treatment. Figuring out what you can and cannot eat with braces is one of the bigger learning curves, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard. Just follow the rules, be smart about what you choose to eat, and always, always, always brush and floss after eating. Even if you stick to only braces-friendly foods, leftover particles love to hide behind your brackets and wires. It’s important to be extra diligent about oral hygiene to make sure your teeth stay healthy and strong. After all, the better you take care of your teeth during braces treatment, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful new smile.
Have more questions about what to eat with braces or ready to book your braces consultation? Call Carolina Oaks Orthodontics today.