New braces can make your child’s teeth hurt. Wondering what to feed your kid while her mouth is sensitive? Here are 30 healthy foods for braces.
When my 14 year old got braces last week, I wasn’t prepared. For the pain, that is. The poor guy was in so much discomfort that he was up in the middle of the night holding an ice pack to his mouth while we watched Netflix for distraction (it helped!).
I also wish I’d been better prepared with food. He’s ravenous these days, and it’s hard enough to keep up with his appetite. Suddenly, so many of his favorite high-cal, filling foods (jerky, trail mix, dried fruit, crackers) were out of the question while he was hurting.
In case braces are in your child’s future, know that it’s typical for the teeth to be pretty sensitive in those first few days (and when they’re periodically adjusted too). To help you, I’ve pulled together a list of healthy foods you can have on hand for your child. Many of these worked well for my son and helped nourish him while he was nursing a sore mouth!
Healthy Foods for Kids With Braces
Sources of protein:
- Yogurt drinks & kefir
- Veggie burgers and patties (meat can be stringy and chewy, these tend to be soft)
- Smoothies (try my Peanut Butter Breakfast Shake)
- Soup & chili
- Hummus and cooked, mashed beans
- Milk (dairy or non-dairy, flavored and plain)
Sources of grains:
- Whole grain bread and warm tortillas (you may have to cut off crusts from bread if very chewy)
- Waffles (cut into pieces) and pancakes
Sources of fruits and veggies:
- Applesauce (look for unsweetened kinds or make my Slow Cooker Applesauce)
- Fruit cups and canned fruit (look for varieties packed in juice)
- Soft fruits like pears (sliced) and bananas
- Soft cooked vegetables
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
- Muffins (try my Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cups and Whole Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Muffins)
- Quick breads (try my Fudgy Chocolate Zucchini Bread)
Healthy Store Bought Foods For Kids With Braces
Here are some of my son’s personal favorites:
- Perfect Bars (remove from fridge to let them soften, then break into pieces)
- Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese
- Chobani Yogurt Drinks
- Morningstar Farms Chik Patties (vegetarian/vegan)
- Outshine Fruit Bars (these popsicles helped soothe his pain that first day)
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What Foods Are Bad For Braces?
Some foods are hard and crunchy enough to break or bend braces. Cut these foods into smaller pieces instead of having your child bite right into them:
- Whole apples
- Whole baby carrots
- Chewy, crusty bread (like baguettes)
- Thick, chewy pizza crusts
Other foods are sticky, which can actually pull braces off of teeth or simply stick in crevices, upping the risk for cavities (it’s harder for kids to get their teeth squeaky-clean when they have braces).
- Gummy candy
I’m happy to report that after about 3-4 days, my son’s teeth and mouth felt much better. He’s still not up for biting into foods with his front teeth, but he’s sleeping just fine and eating (and eating and eating) a lot more foods.
What else can help the pain from braces?
Here are some other items to consider having on hand when your child gets her braces (or has them tightened!):
- Cold packs
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