What Can I Eat with Braces the First Week?

Although braces offer an exciting step towards the beautiful smile you want, facing that first week can be daunting. You’re adjusting to new hardware in your mouth and figuring out how to eat, speak, and adapt your oral care routine to your orthodontic treatment.

One of the most common questions we get is, “What can I eat with braces the first week?” We’ve got the answers to that, surviving the first week, what you can’t eat, and some tips for brushing and flossing to help you survive.

First Week with Braces

During the first week, it’s common to feel a bit of discomfort, and many patients find it’s a bit challenging to eat. Beyond getting used to eating with hardware in your mouth, eating the wrong foods can damage your brackets or wires. Knowing the right foods to eat in those first days can help you avoid extra trips to the orthodontist.

Beyond knowing what to eat in week one, here’s a few more helpful tips to get you through that first week include:

  • Understanding your first week is the toughest. Once you make it through that week, it gets easier.
  • Be prepared when you leave the office. Make sure no wires are extending out to poke your cheeks or tongue. Ensure you have the supplies you need like wax, cleaning aids, and bands.
  • Use wax from your orthodontist to prevent sores in your mouth.
  • Rinse out your mouth with saltwater to offer relief from irritation and sores.
  • Don’t forget to keep up with good oral hygiene.
  • Remember your orthodontist is there to help you through the acclimation period.

How to Eat with Braces

How should you be eating with braces? You’ll need to change your eating habits just a bit. Follow these tips:

  • Tip #1 – Stick to soft foods that aren’t difficult to chew.
  • Tip #2 – Avoid eating crunchy or sticky foods that could get stuck in your braces.
  • Tip #3 – Cut your food into smaller bites for easier chewing.
  • Tip #4 – Eat slowly and chew cautiously.
  • Tip #5 – Don’t eat hard substances like hard candy that could damage your braces.
  • Tip #6 – Use your back teeth for chewing and avoid biting into things with your front teeth.

What Can I Eat with Braces in the First Week?

During that first week, there’s a good chance you’ll feel a little discomfort as your mouth adjusts to your new braces. What foods should you eat in that first week to ease discomfort and avoid damaging your braces? Here are some great options.

  • Dairy Products – Soft cheeses, pudding, yogurt, and smoothies
  • Eggs – Scrambled eggs are especially soft and healthy.
  • Bread – Pancakes, soft tortillas, and muffins
  • Grains – Pasta, oatmeal, and rice
  • Meats – Soft cooked chicken, lunch meats, seafood, and meatballs
  • Soft Vegetables and Beans – Mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and beans
  • Soft Fruits – Bananas and applesauce
  • Desserts – Milkshakes, peanut butter, soft cakes, ice cream, Jell-O
  • Soups

What Can’t You Eat with Braces?

While there are plenty of soft foods that you can eat during that first week and beyond, there are some foods you need to avoid eating while you’re wearing braces. Foods to avoid include:

  • Crunchy Foods – Eating crunchy foods can bend wires, knock off brackets, or loosen bands. Skip crunchy chips, nuts, pretzels, popcorn, and crunchy veggies.
  • Hard Foods – Hard foods can hurt your teeth or damage braces. Avoid hard candy, hard cookies, ice, raw veggies, hard rolls, and peanut brittle.
  • Foods You Bite Into – Any food that you bite into with the front teeth can be a problem when wearing braces, loosening brackets, or bending wires. This means you need to avoid corn on the cob, whole apples or pears, ribs, and chicken wings.
  • Chewy Foods – Chewy foods like bagels or big pieces of meat can get stuck in your brackets and prove difficult to eat. Avoid pizza crust, bagels, large bites of chewy meat, and beef jerky.
  • Sticky and Sugary Foods – Whether you have braces or not, sticky and sugary foods are problematic for teeth. Sticky foods can stick to braces, too. Off-limit foods include gummy bears, fruit roll-ups, caramels, taffy, and licorice.

Remember to Brush and Floss

During that first week – and beyond – remember to brush and floss thoroughly to remove trapped food particles. With braces, it’s easy for food to get stuck between brackets and between your teeth. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily is essential, and using the special toothbrush we give you can help you eliminate food particles that get stuck in your brackets.

When you floss, make sure you’re using waxed dental floss so it doesn’t get stuck on your braces. Floss threaders are a useful tool that will make it easier to reach behind your teeth so you’re not missing any areas. A water flosser or pick can be a great option as well, making it easy to clean your gum line and between teeth and brackets with ease.


During that first week, if you have questions or concerns, Dr. Laster is always available to help. Whether you have a question about what you can eat, you’re experiencing discomfort, or you have another question or problem, contact us with your concerns, and Dr. Laster will help you navigate your first week with braces.

At Laster Orthodontics, we help families develop healthy, life-changing smiles using customized treatments, cutting-edge technologies, and caring relationships. Our individualized treatment plans help our patients achieve their perfect smile in the quickest, most painless way possible by utilizing a wide range of options from traditional braces to propel accelerated treatment to Dr. Laster’s in-house aligner program, Laster Perfect Smile. With three locations throughout the Triangle Area, we create life-changing smiles every day.