So you’re thinking about straightening your teeth or, perhaps, your smile journey is already underway. Whichever path you’re on, if you’re like most of our patients, you probably have questions about braces and food. The good news is you can still eat the vast majority of your favorite foods while you’re in orthodontic treatment and you won’t have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. To help give you a better idea of what’s still on the menu, we’re covering what to eat with braces and the foods to avoid, as well as sharing The Brace Place team’s favorite spots for braces-friendly food in Tulsa and Claremore, OK.
What to Eat With Braces (and a Few Things to Steer Clear of)
Wondering what to eat after getting braces? Well, for the rest of the day following your bonding appointment, stick with soft foods to give your brackets a chance to affix to your teeth correctly. If your teeth are feeling sensitive over the next several days or after adjustments, continue with soft foods and try cold drinks or treats to numb any discomfort. While there are zero food restrictions with Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, you may experience similar sensitivity when you put in a new set of aligners. You too might find that things like mashed potatoes, yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal, smoothies and ice water are a good idea.
So, let’s get the bad news out of the way first. There are some foods to avoid with braces because they can damage your brackets and wires. You’ll want to pass on anything really chewy, sticky or hard until those braces come off, including:
- Chewy candy like Starburst, caramel, taffy
- Hard candy and candy bars
- Corn on the cob (you can take it off the cob to eat it)
- Whole, raw carrots, apples and celery (cut them up into bite-sized pieces and chew with your back teeth instead)
- Ice (you can have it in a drink but don’t chew on it)
- Hard taco shells
- Beef jerky
- Corn chips
- Soda (it can lead to cavities, which may set your treatment back)
That’s it! The list of foods to avoid with braces is pretty minimal and you can enjoy everything else you love. It’s actually more about how to eat with braces than it is about what to eat with braces. Take meat off the bone and cut up most foods into small, bite-sized pieces. Never bite or tear into anything with your front teeth and instead chew with your back teeth. With these tips in mind, here are some of the most braces-friendly foods:
- Soft tortillas
- Muffins (without nuts)
- Soft-cooked meats and seafood, including meatballs, meatloaf, fish sticks and crab cakes
- Mashed potatoes
- Steamed or roasted vegetables
- Soft, ripe fruits like bananas, blueberries, strawberries and avocados
- Beans and lentils
- Fruit cups and applesauce
- Smoothies and milkshakes
- Soft cheeses
- Jell-O, ice cream and pudding
Where to Eat Out With Braces On in Tulsa and Claremore, OK
If you’re at a loss as to what types of restaurants to eat at with braces, you’ll be happy to know most restaurants have plenty of options that are great for orthodontic patients. Here are some of the best restaurants for braces-friendly food in Tulsa and Claremore, OK to help you get started:
- Doe’s Eat Place – 520 W. Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK – Doe’s Eat Place is one of our favorite Claremore, OK restaurants. The steak is fantastic, the atmosphere is relaxed and the service is friendly. As for what to eat with braces on the menu, we’d recommend the tamales, sautéed button mushrooms and, of course, steak (just be sure to cut it into bite-sized pieces).
- Amelia’s – 122 N. Boston Avenue, Tulsa, OK – Amelia’s serves up wood-fired cuisine. You can even watch the chefs work over the Argentinian style grill. It’s probably not the most kid-friendly on this list of restaurants for braces-friendly food in Tulsa but a lot of our patients are adults and they should be able to enjoy a fantastic meal too! We’d suggest the smashed beet salad, grilled Scottish king salmon and the butternut squash ravioli if you’re wearing braces.
- Asean Diner – 1103 W. Blue Starr Drive, Claremore, OK – This small Vietnamese restaurant is one of our go-to places for braces-friendly food in Claremore because it has delicious, fresh food, excellent prices and a menu that’s really ideal for people in orthodontic treatment. Our picks for braces food at Asean include the steamed dumplings, Vietnamese beef noodle soup and the grilled special combo rice vermicelli bowl.
- Villa Ravenna – 6526 E. 51st Street, Tulsa, OK – For fine dining in Tulsa, look no further than Villa Ravenna. The Italian restaurant is romantic and they have classic dishes, as well as one-of-a-kind creations and seasonal options. You won’t want to pass on the grilled pear Gorgonzola, crema di funghi, fettuccine Alfredo or the pollo alla cacciatore.
- El Maguey Mexican Restaurant – 1958 S. Hwy 66, Claremore, OK – Mexican food is a great choice for braces patients (as long as you stay away from hard taco shells) because a lot of the ingredients are easy on your mouth and hardware. El Maguey Mexican Restaurant in Claremore is a bright, friendly little spot with tasty food. Try the chicken or vegetarian fajitas, the chiles poblanos and enchilada rancheros.
- Burn Co. Barbeque – 1738 S. Boston Ave, Tulsa, OK – Burn Co. has outstanding barbeque in a laid back atmosphere. You’ll find award-winning pitmasters cooking up smoked meat and classic sides. For the best braces food on the menu, go for the pulled pork, baked beans and mac and cheese.
- Dot’s Café – 310 W. Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK – Dot’s is a breakfast and brunch place with home-cooked food that runs the gamut from burgers to breakfast favorites like omelettes. Dot’s has something for everyone. We’d recommend the fireman’s skillet, the pancakes, the chili and the cobbler.
- India Palace Restaurant – 6963 S. Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK – India Palace is a family-owned Tulsa Indian restaurant that bills itself as the oldest Indian restaurant in the city. They have authentic, classic fare, as well as a lunch buffet. The food is packed with flavor and always fresh. Our favorites to try include the vegetable bhaji, chicken tikka masala, seafood curry and bhindi masala.
Now that you know where to find braces-friendly food in Tulsa and Claremore, isn’t it time to get started on achieving your dream smile? Book a free consultation at The Brace Place in Tulsa or Claremore to find out about your teeth-straightening options today!