Foods You Can Eat with Braces: A Guide to Delicious and Nutritious Meals

Congratulations on getting braces! You’re on your way to a straighter, more confident smile. While braces are an exciting step toward your dream smile, they can also bring some initial discomfort, especially when it comes to eating. The good news is, with a few adjustments, you can still enjoy a healthy and delicious diet while wearing braces.

In the first few days after getting braces, your mouth will likely be sensitive. This is perfectly normal and temporary. During this time, stick to soft foods that are easy to chew and won’t irritate your gums or brackets. But don’t worry, “braces-friendly” doesn’t have to mean bland! There are many delicious and nutritious options you can enjoy throughout your orthodontic journey.

Braces-Friendly Food Groups: Packing in the Nutrients

Soft Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. While some raw fruits and vegetables might be a bit too crunchy at first, there are plenty of soft options you can enjoy:

  • Mashed fruits like applesauce, bananas, pears, and mango
  • Steamed or roasted vegetables like broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, and green beans
  • Canned fruits in 100% juice (avoid fruits packed in syrup)

Dairy Products: Calcium is crucial for strong teeth and bones, even more so while wearing braces. Thankfully, there are many delicious ways to incorporate dairy into your diet:

  • Soft cheeses like cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese
  • Yogurt (plain or flavored)
  • Milk (whole, low-fat, or dairy alternatives)

Protein Sources: Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, which is important for healthy teeth and gums. Here are some soft and easy-to-chew protein sources:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soft-cooked or shredded chicken, fish, and turkey
  • Ground beef or turkey (cooked until well-done and cut into small pieces)
  • Tofu or tempeh (soft varieties)
  • Lentils and beans (canned or cooked until soft)

Grains and Starches: Grains and starches provide your body with energy. Opt for soft and cooked options like:

  • Soft white bread, wheat bread, or pita bread
  • Cooked pasta (various shapes and sizes)
  • Rice (white, brown, or basmati)
  • Oatmeal or other cooked cereals

Tips for Eating with Braces: Keeping Your Smile Healthy

Now that you have a variety of braces-friendly foods to explore, here are some helpful tips for enjoying your meals comfortably:

  • Cut Food into Small Pieces: Take small bites and chew your food thoroughly. This helps prevent straining your brackets and wires.
  • Cook Thoroughly: Tougher meats and vegetables should be cooked until soft and easy to chew. This minimizes the risk of damaging your braces or irritating your gums.
  • Avoid Sticky and Chewy Foods: Stay away from sticky and chewy foods like caramel, gummy candies, and fruit leathers. These can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove, increasing the risk of cavities.
  • Beware of Hard Foods: Hard foods like nuts, popcorn, pretzels, raw carrots, and hard candies can damage or break your brackets and wires.
  • Drink Plenty of Water: Staying hydrated is important for overall health and helps rinse food particles away from your braces, reducing the risk of cavities. Water is the best choice, but unsweetened teas and sugar-free flavored water are also good options.

Sample Braces-Friendly Meal Plan: Inspiration for Delicious Days

Here’s a sample daily meal plan to give you some ideas for braces-friendly meals and snacks:


  • Scrambled eggs with chopped ham and cheese
  • Soft whole-wheat toast with mashed banana
  • Milk or yogurt with berries


  • Tuna salad sandwich on soft white bread (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Steamed broccoli and carrots
  • Cottage cheese with fruit


  • Baked salmon with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans
  • Glass of milk


  • Sliced apple with low-fat cheese
  • Yogurt parfait with granola (crushed or softened)
  • Smoothie made with fruits, yogurt, and milk

Conclusion: A Smile Journey with Delicious Options

Maintaining a healthy diet while wearing braces is important for your overall health and the health of your teeth. By incorporating a variety of braces-friendly foods from different food groups, you can ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need for a beautiful smile and a healthy body. Remember, everyone’s experience with braces is unique. If you have any questions or concerns about what foods are right for you, consult your orthodontist. They can provide personalized dietary advice based on your specific needs.

Getting braces is an exciting step towards a confident smile. With a little planning and creativity, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious meals throughout your orthodontic journey. At DK Smiles, Dr. Kim is committed to creating healthy smiles and building lasting patient relationships. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your orthodontic treatment options!