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What to Eat with Braces + Free Printable Meal Plan


The week after your child gets braces, their mouth might be extra sensitive. I have a free meal plan of recipes you can make that work for them but also the entire family will enjoy!

What Foods Are Good to Eat After Getting Braces

Getting braces doesn’t hurt, but your child’s mouth will probably be sensitive for a few days to a week following their appointment. Your child will likely have to learn how to chew differently, and so eating softer foods at first can help them adjust.

These are some ideas of foods to eat after getting braces:

  • mashed potatoes
  • yogurt
  • soups
  • scrambled eggs
  • oatmeal
  • soft fruits (berries, bananas)
  • soft cheeses
  • cooked or soft vegetables
  • moist desserts
  • pasta

What Foods Should You Avoid With Braces?

  • Hard nuts, candies, hard fruits (like apples and pears)
  • Hard vegetables (like carrots and corn on the cob)
  • Chips
  • Taco shells
  • Pizza crust
  • pretzels
  • Sticky stuff like taffy, gum, caramels
  • Foods high in acidity that could cause discoloration like lemons, limes and sodas.

Printable Braces Meal Plan

Click the image below and it will open this meal plan in a new tab. The links are clickable and you will also be able to print.

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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I bought my daughter the carrots that are cut like chips. They are still hard but she can eat them with braces without damaging her brackets. She can also eat apples if she slices them up. Braces can definitely be frustrating! She especially misses popcorn.

Take heart, TK had braces for about 9 months when he was about 9. It was not nearly as bad as I anticipated… we mostly just cut more (apples, corn on the cob, etc). We don’t really allow gum anyway but he did miss popcorn.

This is a fantastic idea, but my daughter is a vegetarian. Do you have other meal plans that don’t include meats?

Funny thing Kim, I was trying so hard to find more protein foods when I was making this.
This meal plan is quite skimpy on the meats, and would be super easy to just take it out. However, my Dr. Fuhrman menu probably takes second place with a little amount of meat here:
I’ll see if I can come up with some more vegetarian alternatives.

Thanks for reading!

I have worked as an Orthodontic Assistant since 2002 and thought I would share some info with you… 🙂 The soreness will abate within a week and your child will go right back to eating normal foods. After that first period of soreness they may have a day here or there where they are sore, but never again like the 1st week of braces. Great ways to get them through it are with Smoothies and Hot tea/chocolate. The warm and cold help loosen up those ligaments and many times Orthodontists use Heat Activated wires, so sipping something cold helps with the rigidity of the wire as well. You can also try giving them some Advil 20 minutes before meals to make eating less painful and have them chew sugar free gum as it doesn’t stick but also the chewing motion loosens up the ligaments around the teeth.
I hope this was helpful to you, the first week can be absolutely miserable but it doesn’t last forever, luckily. 🙂

Thanks Michelle. I remember always cutting my corn off the cob! I was so sad not to eat it altogether! 🙂 I got over it though.

As a mom with braces, I’m on board with Brooke…after every tightening I’m eating soft foods for a few days, but then I’m back to normal. And, the first couple weeks with them on had me wondering why I wanted straight teeth…but that pain passed too. I will have to say, if Alex or Soph end up with braces, this is one Mom that will know all the tricks from recent memory ;D (I’m about 2 months from being braces free though and can’t wait!!!)

Not that I’m the best expert, but I have two 10-yr-olds in braces since July of last year. They regularly eat taco shells, pizza crust, crackers, and pretzels. They can eat apples as long as they are sliced, same with pears. I guess we’re lucky because they have the braces that are self-adjusting and they never have “tightening” so there’s been very little pain. We absolutely stay away from gum, caramels, sticky stuff, etc., but the “hard” healthy foods we thought were out haven’t been a problem at all.

I’m going to get braces sometime this year and some of my friends have them and I absolutely DON’T WANT TO GET BRACES!!!!!!! Can you help me change my mind?

I might be getting braces this year and I have no idea what to eat and what. it to eat but this really helped me find out is there anything for me to eat that is something that I can now??

My daughter got braces about a month ago – wish I had this plan then! We’re adjusting well – still getting used to all the dietary changes. (That girl LOVES her crunchy snacks!) She has done lots of smoothies – the coldness helps alot. For a trip to the movies with friends, I bought her individually packaged Pirates Booty, and she didn’t miss the popcorn. We’ve also done some baked casseroles – butternut squash mac & cheese has been a real comfort food for her – also a yummy turkey shepherd’s pie.

i got my braces yesterday, and they hurt alot… i cant eat anything properly.. i miss my cruchy food alot… i cant even chew anything… wen i try to chew i feel as if my tooth is goona brake… i dont want these braces… let my teeth be howere it wants to be… tats the though which always comes on my head… i hope this pain goes away soon…. coz its horrible 🙁

im new to braces im getting them on tommorow at 1:00pm what should i eat with my new braces for the first time ever and stop the pain when the brackets rude against my gums and the wire pocking me in the back any help plz!!!:)

I just got braces yesterday and dont like them what so ever they really hurt and i am so hungry what makes it worse im pregnant and need to eat aot of food to keep up my energy i just wanna take them out myself 🙂

I am 29 years old and got braces about a month ago. Due to a deep bite and turbo brackets on my front two teeth, I can not touch any of my teeth anywhere in my mouth. Nobody has really mentioned this online. I am not in pain but am unable to chew because my teeth don’t touch…literally. I am running out of meal ideas and seem to be eating mashed potatoes and meatloaf way too often. I don’t weigh much as it is, so getting a little worried. Any other ideas?

they wont poke you in the back, they cut the wire in the back. if they dont, ask them to. after getting them eat anything you want , right away and fill up on food, you wont be eating anything substantial for weeks. Carrots and other raw vegtables dont hurt for the first hour so stock up. And as for the brackets rubbing your lips, except for on the bottom, mine dont bother me, so you should be fine. Your actual teeth will hurt, not the rest of your mouth so- mashed potato mania!

My family couldn’t afford to get braces (we were a family of 9 years ago), and now because my teeth are crooked it is easier for food to decay and has caused lots of cavities, with even losing a couple of teeth because of it. I brush and floss constantly but it seems to be a uphill battle. The pain of braces can’t compare to the pain of scraping the teeth or the root canal, or having a tooth pulled. I was determined that my son was going to have braces so he doesn’t have the same problems as I do.

Wish I’d seen this blog-stream when it started! I’d love to point people to my books, website, blog and FB pages that address “taking the bite out of braces!” After getting my three teens through braces, plus having my own second-round, adult braces, I’ve gathered many comfort, care and cooking ideas. Please see http://www.MetalMouthMedia.net so we can all share what works. Regarding the need for really soft (no-chew) foods, pureed sweet potatoes and cream of wheat with protein powder mixed in are two possibilities. If you can manage meatloaf, then I think scrambled eggs with melted cheese and protein powder or tofu mixed in would also work. Best wishes everyone – it’s so worth it.

Thanks! This helped me out a lot… I got my bottom braces on Thursday and my teeth have been killing me ever since… Besides the fact that my braces gave me a huge ulcer on my gum but oh well… Finally i’m excited to try some of this stuff so that way i can finally eat something! Thanks!

This blog is great:) anyways.. I got my braces put on this Monday… And I have a retainer and it prevents me from hitting my lower brackes, and I have a lisp when I wear it and I can’t touch any of my teeth together with this retainer in (did I mention that I never get to take it out, only to clean it…) and I can’t even chew something uber soft… Ideas??!!

oh yes I’m all finished with the braces , facemask and other appliance’s , and have moved into the retainers, and have to wear them the rest of my life as told by my orthodontist

I’m a teenager and I just got my braces tightened. They used way heavier wires than they normally do on me and gave me a few c chains. I took some meds but I’m having trouble eating anything firmer than a soft noodle. Ughhh

Hang in there Brooke! Braces are hard, but definitely pay off in the long run! Try some of our yummy smoothie recipes! Sometimes the cold helps relieve the tightness and pain. My kids eat lots of yogurt, soup and mashed potatoes for the first week after they get their braces tightened, but it doesn’t take long before they get used to it again. 🙂

I just got my braces 2 weeks ago and I had to have my bite opened up so I won’t bite my brackets off. This makes eating very difficult because I can’t bite down with my front teeth. I have eaten a lot of yogurt and super soft stuff. I have to tear or cut everything into small pieces. I have figured out that I can eat steamed veggies but the have to be really soft.

You have shared a healthy meal plan for all of those who are wearing braces or wiling to wear braces.

This is a helpful menu plan. Here are some additional ideas I have that I’ll prepare for my daughter this week.
1. Homemade Ramen.
2. Steamed fish with Rice and Steamed Veggies on the side.
3. Pancakes with Scrambled Eggs.
4. Stirfry with tofu, and a bag of those frozen peas & carrots.

Hi Grace, sorry to hear your teeth are hurting! Try cold, soft foods like yogurt, and smoothies, or warm soothing (and soft) foods like chicken noodle soup or beans and rice. In our experience, the soreness is likely to go away within a couple of days. I hope you feel better soon!

It is really very helpful blog for me, because I got the braces from few days ago. And, it is really painful when I eat something hot and cold items. I really missed all the foods that I really love to eat. But, after reading your eating plan, i decide to eat these items as per your plan.

Thanks for sharing. We have customers asking all the time what are foods I can eat that won’t get stuck in my braces. We going to forward them all to your site. Keep up the great work.