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Getting braces is the first step towards a healthy and beautiful smile. But for the duration of you’re orthodontic treatment, you do need to be careful about what you’re eating with braces.
Many fast-food restaurants are short on braces-friendly food items. Luckily, most of the McDonald’s menu is still accessible.
Make sure you understand what’s safe to eat while wearing braces and what you need to avoid. When you order, you’ll be able to make informed and healthy decisions.
What Can I Eat After Getting Braces?
Food occasionally gets stuck in braces. This isn’t a problem if you clean them later, but it can be pretty annoying for the wearer.
The real concern is that many foods can actually damage your braces. Foods that bend or pull at the wires will reduce the effectiveness of your braces and send you back to the orthodontist for repair work.
Other foods get stuck and don’t come out easily. A piece of food trapped in your mouth will cause your gums to swell, and your braces may need to be removed for cleaning.
You can take better care of your braces by changing your eating habits. Most of these foods aren’t normally healthy for your teeth, so it’s good to get into a habit of reducing or avoiding these items.
If you stick to your orthodontist’s advice and instructions, you will get to remove your braces after the minimum possible time and go back to eating the foods you love.
Avoid Hard, Chewy, or Sticky Foods
The goal is to avoid anything that might damage your braces or get trapped beneath them. Hard and crunchy foods will damage your braces by breaking or bending them. Chewy and sticky foods will damage your braces by catching and pulling them.
Note that your first set of braces may have thinner wires than later sets. After your second or third appointment, you won’t always need to be so careful, although you should still exercise caution.
In general, avoid the following types of food when eating with braces:
- Hard vegetables like carrots, apples, and corn on the cob need to be cut before eating. Biting with your front teeth almost always catches the wires on them.
Chewy bread items
- Chewy bread items like bagels and sandwiches are also a risky proposition for your front teeth. Consider cutting these into smaller bites as well.
Sticky and sugary foods
- Sticky and sugary foods like caramel or hard candy will pull at your braces. They also increase the amount of plaque your mouth develops; this can make your braces harder to clean.
- Crunchy snacks like popcorn, potato chips, and nuts will get stuck in your braces and make cleaning difficult. They might also damage the wires.
It’s impossible to make a full list of dangerous foods, so use your best judgement. If a food item starts pulling on your braces, stop eating it or adjust the way you are eating it to avoid damage.
If something does get stuck in your braces, give us a call immediately. It’s better to fix the damage as soon as it happens so that your braces can go back to realigning your teeth.
Eat Soft and Healthy Foods
Braces-friendly foods are soft and can be eaten in small bites. Good examples include pasta, hot cereal, salads, puddings, ice cream, and anything else that you normally eat with a fork or a spoon.
If you adjust the way certain foods are prepared, you can still eat them even after your braces are put in. Cut things into smaller pieces. Use a fork, a spoon, or even chopsticks to eat; just make sure that food makes its way into your mouth without touching the wires.
Remember to eat a healthy diet. Braces pull on your teeth and help them realign. If your body is in good health, this process will be much easier.
What Can You Eat with Invisalign In?
You really shouldn’t eat any food items with Invisalign aligners in place. Even soft food items can cause damage or stain the plastic trays.
Luckily, you can always remove aligners before a meal. Sneak off to the bathroom, pop them out and keep them in a fashionable Invisalign Aligner Case, so you don’t loose them and enjoy any healthy foods that you like. Sugary foods are still bad for your teeth; no dentist or orthodontist will happily recommend that you eat caramel.
Remember to clean your teeth before you put your aligners back in. You don’t want food trapped between your teeth and the plastic.
Eating with Braces at McDonalds
The normal rules for taking care of your braces apply at McDonald’s. Even though hamburgers are soft, they require a large front biting motion that may dislodge your wires. Even chicken nuggets require this motion if you eat them by hand.
The solution might be to eat your McDonald’s with a fork and a knife. If the hamburger is cut into smaller pieces, you don’t need to use that risky front bite. Don’t worry about looking silly. It’s more important to enjoy the food you are eating.
The breakfast menu is a relatively safe place to order. Skip the coffee and the orange juice; they won’t damage your braces, but they’re generally not good for your teeth. A nice cup of water is always a good way to start your day.
- Oatmeal and pancakes are both fine to eat with braces.
- Avoid breakfast sandwiches unless you cut them up.
- The sausage burrito is very soft, but be careful with that biting motion.
- Hashbrown patties might get caught in your teeth; eat these with caution.
- A McDonald’s smoothie is a good breakfast choice with braces. No chewing is required; just sip at the smoothie and enjoy your day.
Eating with braces requires you to slow down. When you order fast-food for lunch, budget extra time to prepare your meal and eat it without causing damage.
- Most hamburgers and chicken sandwiches require a front bite. Cut them up before eating.
- Cut chicken nuggets into smaller pieces instead of biting them in half.
- Salads are usually a healthy choice, but make sure to clean your teeth afterward; small pieces of lettuce can get stuck under the wires.
- Apple slices, although delicious and healthy, might pull at your wires. Eat them carefully.
- French fries are safe to eat with braces.
Don’t eat too much sugar, and always rinse your mouth. Sugar buildup causes plaque and makes it more difficult to clean your braces.
- Ice cream is a good dessert choice with braces. Be careful with the ice cream cones; you might want to stick to sundaes.
- Avoid crunchy toppings like nuts or candy.
- Break cookies into smaller pieces to avoid the front bite.
Do you agree with this list, or have you had different braces-wearing experiences at McDonald’s? Join our discussion and let us know what you think in the comments below. We’d love to hear about the foods you’ve successfully enjoyed or the times that fast food didn’t work out so well.
What Can You Eat at McDonalds with Braces?
Perry heads up a dynamic marketing team that has help the leading orthodontic practices in the USA 10X their business for over a decade. He’s a tea connoisseur, avid reader, traveling and grower of exotic fruits in his permaculture food forest.