My Kid Has Braces, Now What?

When your child has braces, it is necessary for you and your child to make time to maintain them. It is very important to brush and clean them whenever you eat, but also to be aware and careful of the food your child eats, because that can significantly affect the process and success of braces.
Below is a list of good foods that your child can eat. And below that, a list bad foods.

Good foods:
• Meatloaf or meatballs
• Tuna, chicken, or egg salad
• Lunch meat (plain, not in a sandwich — sandwiches can be too hard to bite)
• Soup
• Cheese slices
• Cooked eggs
• French toast, pancakes, waffles
• Soft cooked meat (pot roast, roasted chicken, etc)
• Baked or broiled fish
• Non-crusty bread without seeds or chunks
• Saltine crackers (they crumble on the roof of your mouth!)
• Cottage cheese
• Yogurt (custard-type is best; the less chunks the better — or just don’t eat the fruit chunks!)
• Cereal that gets soggy in milk
• Oatmeal or hot cereals
• Ice cream and cake (Why not treat yourself? But remember, no nuts!)
• Frozen cheese blintzes or potato pancakes

Bad foods:
• Ice….Definitely a NO!! It can damage braces
• Nuts
• Peanut brittle
• Soda pop
• Hard pizza crust
• Corn on the cob
• Ribs
• Doritos, corn chips, hard tacos, Cheetos, Fritos and anything similar to those foods.
• Popcorn
• Hard pretzels
• Hard rolls and bagels
• Raw carrots
• Bubble gum
• Carmel candy
• Beef jerky
• Suckers & Hard candy

A rule of thumb for braces is to not eat anything high in sugar, sticky, or hard. Something simple and easy to put together for your kids is a little dental kit. They can carry it to school and after school activities.

Your portable dental kit can contain: a travel or full-size toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, folding cup, dental floss, little spiral dental brush, dental wax, small mirror, packet of tissues, breath drops or spray and anything else you think could be useful. This little kit is very handy. Do we think a child will really use it every day? No. But at least it will be there for the day he or she eats a handful of Starbursts and can’t pry their mouth back open.

*Remember having braces is a good thing… sometimes it can get frustrating, but in the end it will be worth it!

Dr. Tipton’s patient, Pamela Waterman, a Phoenix-area engineer and author, is the author of The Braces Cookbook: Recipes You (and Your Orthodontist) Will Love. Dr. Tipton has endorsed this book. We recommend you try it out!


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