How and What to Eat with Braces

February 14, 2022

eating with bracesFor most of us as a youth, having braces was a right of passage. In fact, nearly 80 percent of all teenagers have had braces, have braces, or will get braces before they turn 20 years old (this includes options like Invisalign).

As common as braces are for tweens and teens, and even young adults, that doesn’t mean they aren’t challenges. One such challenge is eating with orthodontic devices. Even ten years ago, eating with braces meant special diets, frequent cleaning, band-changes, and soreness of the gums when food did get caught and stuck in between the metal and the teeth. Fortunately, there have been many dental advancements in the last decades that make getting a beautiful, straight smile much more comfortable.

Increase in Options

Before the year 2000, getting straight teeth without a chunk of metal in your mouth was not very common without extensive surgery and false teeth. Now, Invisalign is so popular that even adults over the age of 50 are going back to their dentists to get straighter teeth.

Metal braces are still an excellent option, however, and thanks to improvements – even this metal device has become comfortable for most. Here are a few ‘eating’ pros on cons for both to help you decide which one is right for you.


  • You can easily remove your aligners to eat.
  • Some dentists will allow you to eat certain foods without removing your aligners.
  • There is no limit on what food you can and cannot eat if your aligners are removed, making your choices easy and eliminating the need for deep cleaning in between meals.
  • While uncomfortable for digestion, people with Invisalign can eat bigger bites and eat quicker than those with metal braces.
  • People with Invisalign should not experience sensitivity after eating.
  • More expensive than braces.


  • Cannot be removed to eat.
  • After the initial installment of braces, or tightening, patients will need to limit their food choices to soft foods like soup, mashed potatoes, or jello.
  • People with braces should avoid sticky foods, like caramel, and foods that can easily get stuck in the brackets (like popcorn).
  • Eat slower and take small bites to avoid damaging the metal brackets.
  • People may experience sensitivity after eating certain foods and may need to take anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen until they figure out what they can eat.
  • Braces are more cost-effective.

The Choice is Yours

At Colorado Dental Group, we provide orthodontic options like braces and Invisalign to all of our patients when recommended. Every person may prefer a different course of treatment, and our dental experts are here to help guide you to choose what is right for you and your dental needs. Please schedule an appointment if you are ready for a straighter, more beautiful smile!