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Braces-Friendly Snacks: What to Munch When Your Child Has Braces

Smiling Girl with braces wearing green shirt

Braces-Friendly Snacks: What to Munch When Your Child Has Braces

If your child recently got braces, you’ve probably found that snack time can also mean sore-mouth time.

Like anything new, getting used to wearing braces can take some time. A new set of braces can make your child’s teeth hurt, and eating with a sensitive mouth is not much fun. While there are some ways to relieve some of the initial pain, like cutting food into smaller pieces, prevention is always a better plan, so it’s best to find healthy snacks that won’t harm their teeth, gums, or braces.

Luckily, there are plenty of mouth-friendly munchies available if you know what to look for and, more importantly, what to avoid. By learning more about braces-friendly snacks, you can help keep your little ones nourished while they’re nursing some sore teeth.

Foods to Avoid During Treatment

When you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment of any kind, it is important to eat healthy foods, minimize sugary foods, and get plenty of sleep. 

The braces you wear are precise appliances that can be damaged by eating certain hard foods. Soft and sticky foods can also be a big no-no, as they can cause tooth decay and loosen or dislodge your braces.

Yellow corn on the cob on a plate

Hard Foods To Avoid (and Braces-friendly alternatives)

Corn on the Cob Soft-cooked corn kernels or creamed corn
Hard Candy Pudding or natural fruit leathers
Corn Chips Lightly baked tortilla chips, puffed snacks or veggie chips
Popcorn Puffed rice cakes or air-popped rice snacks
Jerky Lunch meats, meatloaf or chicken tenders
Ice Chilled fruit smoothies or slushies
Hard Nuts Nut butters or pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
Pizza Crust Soft-crust pizza or focaccia bread
Jolly Ranchers Fruit-flavored yogurt or applesauce
Colorful candy - gummy bears and sweets

Soft Foods To Avoid (and Braces-friendly alternatives)

Gum Mints that dissolve in the mouth
Starbursts Soft fruit bars or natural fruit leathers
Sugar Daddies Three Musketeers or Reese’s
Tootsie Rolls Soft, moist brownies or peanut butter cups
Gummy Bears Fresh fruit salad or soft canned fruits
Caramels Caramel pudding or thin slices of apple dipped in a thin caramel sauce
Taffy Marshmallows or berries, melon, grapes.
Other chewy candies Baked goods like soft cookies and cupcakes

Snacks to Avoid

Kids love snacks and always seem to be hungry, especially during their teen years. But, when you’re wearing braces, it’s essential to be mindful of certain snacks that can pose a risk to your orthodontic appliances.

Avoiding thick and chewy ingredients is just one of the many ways you can prevent damage to your braces and any unnecessary pain. Steering clear of the following snacks is a small price to pay for a pain-free mouth.

Sticky and Chewy Treats

Say no to sticky candies, caramels, and taffy. These treats can cling to your braces and increase the risk of damage. Opt for alternatives that won’t jeopardize the integrity of your braces.

Hard and Crunchy Snacks

Steer clear of hard and crunchy snacks like popcorn, nuts, and hard pretzels. These can pose a threat to your braces by potentially causing brackets to break or wires to bend.

Chewy Bread and Bagels

While bread is generally in the braces-friendly snacks category, be cautious with chewy or hard-crusted bread. Instead, go for soft snacks like tortillas or flatbreads.

Whole Fruits with Hard Skin

Avoid biting directly into whole fruits with hard skins, such as apples and pears. Instead, slice them into bite-sized pieces to enjoy without risking damage to your braces.

sliced red apples on a chopping board
Candies and Chocolates with Nuts

Candies and chocolates that contain nuts can be problematic for braces. The hard texture of nuts may harm the braces components. Switch to nut-free alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Braces Friendly Foods

Choosing the right foods when you have braces is crucial for maintaining both your orthodontic appliances and oral health.

Luckily, you don’t have to compromise on choice with no shortage of delicious foods you can still safely eat while wearing braces. They include:

Dairy Delights

Embrace the calcium-rich goodness of dairy products. Yogurt, soft cheeses, and milk-based smoothies are excellent choices. They not only provide essential nutrients for your teeth but are also gentle on your braces.

Soft Fruits

Indulge in the natural sweetness of fresh fruit like bananas, berries, and melons. These sweet and soft fruits are not only braces-friendly but also packed with vitamins and antioxidants that contribute to your overall oral health. Fresh fruit cups are always an easy-to-make winner when you’re looking for a delicious snack.

Cooked Veggies

Soft, cooked veggies make for a nutritious and braces-friendly snack. Simply steam or sauté your favorite vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and sweet potatoes until they are tender.

Soft Grains and Carbs

You can still get your carb fix by simply switching to softer grains and carbohydrates that are gentle on your braces. Cooked rice, pasta, and soft bread are versatile options that can be paired with various toppings for a satisfying snack.

Protein-Packed Options

Choose lean and tender protein sources such as eggs, poultry, and fish. These foods provide the necessary nutrients you need while being easy on your braces.

The Best Snacks for Braces

Stuck for snack ideas? Relax, we’ve got you covered. Here are some popular braces-friendly snacks that you can whip up in no time.

And fear not. Just because you wear braces doesn’t mean you can still have the odd sweet treat.

  1. Smoothies and Blended Delights: Blend together your favorite fruits, yogurt, and a splash of milk for a delicious and braces-friendly smoothie. This refreshing treat is not only easy on your braces but also a great way to stay hydrated.
  2. Soft Cookies and Baked Goods: Satisfy your sweet tooth with soft snacks like cookies and baked goods. Avoid nuts or hard textures that can be challenging for braces, and instead, go for soft chocolate chip cookies or muffins for a tasty treat.
  3. Cheese and Crackers: Create a braces-friendly charcuterie board with soft cheeses and whole-grain crackers. This combination provides a satisfying crunch without compromising your braces. Add some grapes or slices of soft apple for extra flavor.
  4. Frozen Yogurt Popsicles: Beat the heat with homemade frozen yogurt popsicles. Simply blend your favorite fruits with yogurt, pour into popsicle molds, and freeze. These icy delights are both soothing and gentle on your braces.
  5. Hummus and Raw Vegetables: Dive into a bowl of hummus paired with soft veggies like cucumbers or bell peppers. This savory snack is not only braces-friendly but also a nutritious snack that satisfies your cravings.

What can you do to relieve a sore mouth?

Illustration of child with braces with sore mouth

It’s completely normal to feel a bit of discomfort after your child gets braces or goes through adjustment appointments. This is a common part of the process, and it typically lasts anywhere from one to two days, and in some cases, it might extend to about a week. Remember, this is just your child’s mouth getting accustomed to the new changes, and it will pass.

To help ease discomfort, rinse their mouth with warm salt water. This can soothe sore areas and reduce inflammation. Over the counter pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol can also be taken as directed to help manage the pain. It’s all about finding the right balance that works for your child and ensuring they remain comfortable as they adjust to their braces.

Nourishing Your Smile with Braces-Friendly Snacks

Nothing takes the fun out of snack time like a sore mouth. Luckily, with the right snack choices, your kids can embrace their braces journey with confidence and still indulge in a variety of tasty, braces-friendly treats.

Food is just one part of the picture, so it’s important to still maintain regular oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing, to keep both braces and teeth in excellent condition.

If you need personalized advice on maintaining a healthy diet that aligns with your childs’ dental needs, talk with the team at AZ Family & Kid’s Dental today.

Let’s work together to give your family the level of care we know they deserve.