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Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid With Braces By Top Rated Jefferson Valley, NY Orthodontist

Foods To Eat & Foods To Avoid With Braces By Dr. Richard Schechtman
Top Rated Jefferson Valley, NY Orthodontist

The days of large, old-fashioned braces are long gone, and the food restrictions aren’t nearly as strict anymore, either. However, there are still food restrictions for people who have braces, so following your New York orthodontist’s rules can mean the difference between having a positive experience or a negative one.

Why Are There Food Restrictions with Braces?

The reasoning is pretty simple: certain foods have a tendency to get stuck in your teeth, right? Corn, popcorn, chewy candy, hard candy – they all work their way into the spaces between your teeth when you don’t have braces, which means that adding braces to the mix just offers more opportunities for food to get stuck and bacteria to thrive.

When food or bacteria get stuck in your teeth, the bacteria has the opportunity to grow. The enamel on your tooth becomes weaker and decalcification occurs, which is the beginning of a cavity. Sometimes this happens on the teeth around your brackets. Once the bacteria break through the enamel, a cavity forms and tooth decay occurs.

Some foods and beverages to avoid with braces:

  • Soda, especially highly acidic soda. This includes Coca-Cola and Pepsi – over time and with repeated consumption, these drinks can actually eat away at the enamel on your teeth, making it that much easier for bacteria to get in and create cavities.
  • Candy, especially chewy, sticky candy -like taffy or hard candy. Just imagine how many nooks and crannies there are in your mouth already – then double or triple that if you have braces. That’s a lot of places for bacteria to hide!
  • Popcorn, more because it can be bad for your gums and has a tendency to get stuck. The shell of the popcorn kernel is kind of hard and difficult to get out if you happen to get it stuck in your gums and between your teeth at the same time.

This is also why your New York orthodontist will insist that you brush and floss your teeth often, sometimes 3-5 times a day. The cleaner your teeth are, the less likely you are to accidentally leave something behind, and the better you can expect your teeth to do with braces.

Your New York orthodontist will give you a copy of a detailed list of foods to avoid when you have braces, usually after he goes over the list with you. Once you get used to your braces, you’ll get a feel for the types of food to avoid and which kinds of food you just have to cut up to eat. Use common sense when dealing with foods you aren’t sure about.

Foods to Eat Right After an Adjustment (Soft Foods)

Most people will feel some pressure and tenderness in their mouth for about 2-4 days after an adjustment to their braces, which is essentially where the New York orthodontist changes out the arch wire. Sometimes this will be worse than others as it depends on the thickness and strength of the wire used for the current step in treatment, but when it comes to food, some basic tips will apply.

Immediately after you get an adjustment to your braces, it might be a good idea to have some iced tea, iced coffee, or frozen yogurt. Ice cream will work, too, but it’s more sugary than frozen yogurt and can be bad for your teeth. If you prefer ice water, that’s always the best option. The cold will help alleviate pain and tenderness in your mouth, and it’s always nice to treat yourself, right?

Over the next 2-4 days after you get your braces adjusted, tenderness may continue, so sticking with cold, soft foods or at least cold drinks is a good idea. Ice is great, but don’t chew on it.

Soft foods include:

  • Oatmeal
  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt
  • Gelatin
  • Soup
  • Grits
  • Milkshakes
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cottage cheese
  • Scrambled eggs

There are actually a lot of options, so don’t get discouraged; you won’t have to go on a baby food diet and the soft food is only temporary.

If you have questions, concerns, or want to get started in the process of straightening your smile, please don’t hesitate to call us at 914.200.1569. We offer a faster treatment plan and a satisfaction guarantee! Your smile is worth it.

Schechtman Orthodontics of Jefferson Valley NY and Purchase NY are the only orthodontic practices in Westchester and Putnam counties in New York (NY) that utilize SureSmile® technology. SureSmile® technology speeds up the braces process by as much as 35%, and provides the most precise treatment. We are also an Invisalign® provider and we offer our patients other alternatives to traditional braces. With many types of braces to choice from, we’re sure there is one that’s right for you.

Schechtman Orthodontics currently offers a complimentary Schechtman Smile Analysis. Schechtman Orthodontics is Westchester county and Putnam county’s top rated orthodontist for transforming smiles for over 25 years.

Financial considerations should not be an obstacle to obtaining your best smile with braces. We offer affordable payment plans with low monthly installments.

Book your free, no obligation Schechtman Smile Analysis today and start smiling with confidence!


At Schechtman Orthodontics, we want to ensure you are confident with your decision for not only your choice in orthodontic treatment, but also for the orthodontics office in New York you choose to start your braces and orthodontic treatment. To ensure you are completely confident in your decision, we offer a few no-obligation, no-pressure ways to get started!

  1. Find out what the most important aspects are in choosing the right orthodontist in Jefferson Valley or Purchase, NY for you or your child by reading our free report, "The Top 10 Things To Know Before Choosing Your Orthodontist."
  2. Take this assessment to see if Dr. Schechtman is the right orthodontist for you or your family!
  3. Click here to fill out the form to receive your complimentary Schechtman Smile Analysis, a $250 value!
  4. Call 914.962.9600 to speak with a Schechtman Orthodontics team member right away!
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