Have you been wondering what kind of foods are best to eat with braces? As we recently discussed in a previous article, there are certain foods you should avoid if you have braces.
This might have raised the question for some of you: What foods SHOULD you eat with braces, then? With a bit of adjustment to your usual meal selections, you can still enjoy healthy, delicious, and tasty meals and the occasional treat without harming your braces.
An Important Note About Caloric Intake
Are you eating enough calories for the day? No matter what you eat, the most critical factor to consider is caloric intake. Eating enough calories is important because it is essential for maintaining proper nutrition levels in the body. If you don’t, your body will begin to break down muscle tissue for energy, which can cause weight loss and other problems with your health.
You should consume at least 1,000 calories daily if you do not exercise regularly. If you exercise regularly or have more muscle mass than average, then your caloric needs will be higher than this amount. For help finding out how many calories you should consume for your age group, check out this helpful resource from the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute.
Foods That Are Easy to Brush Off Braces
If you’re the parent of a child with braces, chances are good that you’ve heard the horror stories: the kid who eats a grape has to go to the dentist because it got stuck in one of their wires, or the kid who eats popcorn and can’t get it out of their braces. Braces can be challenging to clean, especially if you don’t know the right foods to eat with them.
As a rule of thumb, choose food that can be easy to brush off the braces. Brushing too hard to remove stuck-on foods can damage the braces and cause your teeth to hurt. To keep your teeth and braces healthy, here are some foods to eat with braces that you can consider adding to your grocery list:
Choose fruits that are not overly sticky and have a softer consistency, as these are easier to swallow than harder fruits. Soft-fleshed fruits, such as pears, oranges, and bananas, are easy to swallow and can be easily blended into a drinkable smoothie, which can help if it hurts to chew.
When considering vegetables, avoid crunchier ones and choose soft ones. You can steam or bake vegetables to soften their consistency. Mashed vegetables like potatoes and cauliflower work well, too! Some examples of soft vegetables that are ideal for those with braces include celery, cooked carrots, pickles, steamed green beans, and cooked tomatoes.
Protein sources, like steak, can be tough to chew, but there are ways to soften them and make them easier to eat when you have braces. Consider switching to leaner meats such as grilled chicken, fish, shellfish, and sliced turkey.
These meats are often softer and better for chewing. They’re also less likely to get stuck in your teeth. Marinating or slow-roasting meats can also help make them moister and less tough to chew.
Eggs are another excellent source of protein and require even less chewing than meat or fish. Natural peanut butter is also a good source of protein and healthy fats that you can spread on soft bread.
Starches are essential to a balanced diet because they provide you with a high amount of carbohydrates that your body can use for energy. Pasta, noodles, macaroni and cheese, and stir-fries are some tasty examples of carbohydrates. It is best to avoid starches like popcorn. Popcorn is hard, crunchy, and often contains unpopped kernels that can become stuck in your braces.
You will have the most flexibility with dairy products because most have a soft or liquid consistency. Soft cheeses, milk, and yogurts are good options for getting dairy into your diet. However, you should avoid yogurts with crunchy toppings to prevent damage to your braces.
Do you love dessert? If so, avoid hard and sticky ones that can stick to your braces. Sugars that stick to your teeth can contribute to cavities and create further dental health issues.
Soft and chewy desserts like cakes, soft serve or softer ice cream, and puddings are easier to eat around braces. It is wise to avoid ice cream because it can make the metal in your mouth cold, which can be uncomfortable.
Get Braces in St. Augustine, FL
It’s time to get those pearly whites looking their best! If you’re considering getting braces, look no further than Henry Orthodontics. Based in St. Augustine and serving the city and surrounding communities, we offer a wide range of services to help you brighten your smile. Get a clear braces timeline for your child’s orthodontic care. To learn more, contact us today.