Going to the dentist isn’t always fun for kids, especially if they need to see an orthodontist. Your child might be wondering what are braces and what snacks I can eat once I have them on?
Braces help your child’s teeth grow properly, so it’s important to take care of them. This means they can’t eat all of the treats they might have eaten before. Some sticky or hard treats can damage braces.
Your child will get their braces adjusted periodically, which can feel uncomfortable or even painful. Therefore, some of the best snacks for kids with braces are soft treats.
Treats You Can Eat With Braces
Getting braces can feel like a bummer for your child, but make sure they know they can still enjoy delicious treats. They’ll love the soft snacks for braces on this list, and you’ll know more about what treats you can eat with braces.
Ice Cream or Gelato
When you buy ice cream or gelato at the store, make sure you choose flavors that don’t have added ingredients like nuts or caramel. These substances will bind to the braces.
You can also make ice cream at home. This is a fun activity your child can easily do with a few key ingredients:
- rock salt
- Ziploc bags
The process is educational and will take your child’s mind off their discomfort if they just got their braces tightened.
Chocolate Chips and Mini Marshmallows (Just a Handful)
Instead of eating an entire candy bar, sometimes just a handful of chocolate chips or mini marshmallows will do. They’ll give your kid a shot of sugar without getting stuck in their braces.
Many brands have a line of soft cookies that aren’t hard to break off and chew. If you have harder cookies on hand, let your kid soften them in a glass of milk before chowing down.
Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut butter cups are soft enough that they’re easy for kids with braces to eat. They’re one of the best sweets kids with braces can have.
The peanut butter inside isn’t crunchy, so there’s nothing to knock against the wires.
Popsicles are a great snack because your child can suck on them to get the sweet fruity flavor. This is another treat that your child can easily make. You can use fruit, juice, and a little sugar to make a tasty popsicle. Experiment with flavors for extra fun!
Frozen yogurt has less fat than ice cream, so it’s a healthy snack option. It’s also a great choice for kids with braces because it’s so creamy. Just make sure they don’t add any crunchy or sticky toppings if you go to a self-serve yogurt bar.
Pop-Tart Bites give your child all the delicious flavor of Pop-Tarts without the tough edges. These small treats are easy to chew and the filling doesn’t bind onto the braces.
Chocolate mousse is similar to pudding and is fun for your kids to help you make. Children with braces will especially love this light and decadent treat.
Cupcakes are great treats for kids with braces. The cake stays soft and it’s just enough to give them a sugar fix without overdoing it. You can even buy or make mini cupcakes for a bite-size snack.
Twinkie, Ding Dong, or Donut Holes
Twinkies and Ding Dongs are soft treats by Hostess that won’t stick to your kid’s braces. They come individually wrapped so they’re perfect to pack in lunches or take to go.
They might also enjoy glazed donut holes for a small burst of sugar. Donut holes are so small you can pop it right into your mouth without needing to bite into a bigger donut and get sugar stuck in your braces.
Treats to Avoid With Braces
So now that you know more about What treats kids with braces can eat, which ones should you avoid?
All the above treats are ideal to eat with braces because they won’t stick to the wires. They’re also soft enough to not damage the wires when your child takes a bite. There are many treats you’ll want to avoid, though.
Sticky Treats to Avoid:
Sticky or tacky treats can get stuck in the crevices of your child’s teeth and braces. Sugar stuck in hard-to-reach places can lead to cavities. Some sticky treats can even pull braces off of teeth.
Make sure to avoid sticky snacks like:
- Tootsie Rolls
Hard Treats to Avoid:
Treats that are hard or crunchy can bend or break your child’s braces. It’s also uncomfortable to get a hard piece of food stuck in the braces. You can cut down any large pieces of crusty bread or pizza so it’s easier to chew.
These snacks are already small, but they’re so hard to chew that it’s easier to avoid them:
- Hard taco shells
- Hard candy
- Corn chips
Chewy Treats to Avoid:
Chewy treats can damage braces or stick to them. Particles of these foods can get stuck in your child’s teeth and cause problems with their oral hygiene. It’s best to avoid chewy snacks like:
- Beef jerky
Oral Care for Kids With Braces
Eating the right snacks will help keep your child’s braces intact, but you also need to know how to keep braces clean. Eating sugar-free versions of the suggested snacks above can help keep their teeth clean. It’s best to brush right after eating sugary treats.
Rinsing with mouthwash after eating or drinking can help loosen particles that get stuck in the braces. Mouthwash also helps keep your child’s mouth clean and can reach places the toothbrush can’t, so it’s a win-win!
Your child should also brush after every meal. This is great oral hygiene for everyone, but it’s especially important when your kid has braces. They’re able to brush away any food particles that might stick to their braces and teeth.
Remember that soft snacks for braces help keep the wires in place and won’t hurt your child’s mouth. Those listed above are easy to eat and your child will love getting a treat. And now you’ll both know what sweet you are allowed with braces!
If you have another treat in mind, you can always find a pediatric dentist near you to help answer your questions.
Evelyn Lahiji, Children’s Dental FunZone Executive Director, joined the company in 2007 with her extensive knowledge of the dental field due to years of working in every position at multiple dental offices. Under her leadership, 12 additional offices opened and quickly became successful. Evelyn works hard to ensure all operations are running smoothly both in the offices and at home raising 2 energetic young boys.