Lunch with Braces: Foods to Avoid and Pack for Your Child

October 7, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — ahorthopeds @ 4:23 pm
child eating lunch with braces

Every night after dinner, you and your child put together their lunch for the next day. Before the brackets and wires, the menu had few limitations, but now that your child is wearing braces, you have a whole new set of concerns to keep in mind. Your orthodontist gave you a list of foods they are not allowed to have, which could break off a bracket or get stuck, but you also need to think about what your child should and shouldn’t have while they’re at school. Keep reading to get an idea of what you can pack in their lunches and what you should leave out.

Foods to Stay Away From

While your child has braces on, they will have days, especially after an adjustment at the orthodontist’s office, when their teeth feel sore. The last thing they’ll want to do is eat something hard, crunchy, or chewy. Plus, these kinds of food can get stuck in their brackets. As a general rule, you may want to avoid packing the following in your child’s lunch during their orthodontic treatment:

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Sticky or hard candy
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Beef jerky
  • Chips or hard pretzels

Although you should try to limit how much sugar your child consumes with or without braces, sugar and the risk of cavities become even more of a concern with them. To help them avoid decay during treatment, you should not pack sports drinks, juice, dried fruit, or candy in their lunches.

Safe Foods to Pack

With so many off-limits foods, you may wonder what your child can eat! Believe it or not, there are plenty of foods that are soft and yet contain many nutrients your child needs. Examples of these include the following:

  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Canned fruit with cottage cheese
  • Egg salad or soft, boiled eggs
  • Sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly or with sliced lunch meat)
  • Pudding

Your child won’t always need to have soft foods, but you should keep in mind that they will experience sore days. Your child with braces will appreciate having these milder textures in their lunchbox then!

Ultimately, the lunch food you choose for your child with braces can make treatment go more smoothly or make life difficult. By selecting the right foods, they can experience less discomfort, fewer orthodontic emergencies, and more time enjoying being a kid with braces. Little changes to their lunches can set them on the path to success and a lifetime of a healthy, straight smile.

About the Practice

At Arlington Heights Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, our orthodontists are happy to provide extra guidance for our patients. Dr. Kemp and Dr. Hall are highly qualified and trained, and we treat patients of all ages, including kids, teens, and adults. If you have questions about what your child can and cannot have during orthodontic treatment, you may contact our office in Arlington Heights online or call us at 847-255-3020.

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