Traditional braces are a tried and proven orthodontic method that can treat even complex cases, and they are also a right of passage for many children. It’s common for kids in elementary, middle, or high school to wear them, and it isn’t always easy to keep your child in compliance with their orthodontic treatment. Patients must avoid certain foods and beverages to keep their braces clean and their treatment on track. Here are a few tips for packing a braces-friendly lunch for your child.
What Should I Avoid Packing for My Child with Braces?
Foods that are crunchy, chewy, or hard can bend wires or break brackets, which can disrupt a child’s orthodontic treatment and significantly delay their getting their braces off. Biting into a hard object can also cause significant harm to their braces. A few foods to avoid include:
- Crunchy fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, and celery
- Anything that must be bitten off a hard object such as corn on the cob or meat on the bone
- Chewy candies like licorice, gum, taffy, and the like
- Hard candies like jawbreakers and butterscotch discs
- Chewy foods like bagels and beef jerky
- Crunchy snacks like popcorn and hard pretzels
- Sugary beverages like juices, sodas, and sports drinks
What Are Some Good Foods for Children with Braces?
While it might seem that braces cut out a lot of your child’s eating options, there are still many tasty and nutritious items you can pack in your child’s lunchbox. A few examples include:
- Cold cuts like ham, turkey, or roast beef
- Soft foods like applesauce, yogurt, pudding, and Jello
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
- Egg salad
- Boiled eggs
What Are Suitable Hot Lunch Items for Children with Braces?
Many children enjoy having hot lunch at the school cafeteria, and there are many braces-friendly options there. A few hot lunch items for a child with braces include:
- Pasta or macaroni and cheese
- Pizza with a soft crust
- Mashed potatoes
- Cooked or steamed vegetables
- Soup and chili
- Taco salad
- Soft French fries
- Sloppy joes
- Fish sticks
There is no need for a child with braces to go hungry. By taking care to pack braces-friendly items in your child’s lunch, you can help ensure that they get the nutrition they need while keeping their orthodontic treatment on track.
About the Author
Dr. Dalia Georgy earned her dental doctorate at the University of Oklahoma and has accrued over two hundred continuing education credits. She is proud to be a member of the American Dental Association, the Oklahoma Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Her office in Glenpool, OK offers traditional braces, pediatric orthodontics, and Invisalign treatments. For more tips on helping your child comply with their orthodontic treatment, contact the office online or dial (918) 201-1414.