Barbecue With Braces: How To Keep Your Braces In Good Shape

Braces can present a challenge when it comes to picking safe to eat foods. This is especially true at summer barbecues, where the food is the focus of the entire event. Knowing what you can eat and what you should avoid can help you enjoy your barbecue and keep your braces in good repair.

Barbecue Favorites You Can Eat

Foods that have a pasta, soft potato or fruit base are all safe for you to eat while you're at summertime barbecues. Of the foods you're likely to encounter at a barbecue, some of the best choices include:

  • Casseroles. Anything that's been well baked in an oven at 350 degrees for a long time is likely to be soft, easy to break up into small pieces and safe for braces.
  • Fruit salad. Fruit salads are generally safe for braces, provided that the crunchiest fruits are cut into small pieces. Apples, unripe peaches and pears should be cut up into smaller bits before being consumed.
  • Meats. Meats like hamburgers and hot dogs are also safe for braces. Still, it's a good idea to cut up your hamburger or hotdog into small pieces before putting them in your mouth. Remember to cut up any pickles or onions so they're thin and bite-sized.
  • Corn off the cob. Corn shouldn't be eaten while it's on the cob. To eat corn on the cob, stand the cob on its end and use a knife to saw the kernels into a pile,
  • Ribs and chicken wings. Well-cooked meats like ribs and chicken wings are safe, but don't forget to cut the meat off the bone before eating it.

Foods to Avoid

The foods on the list below should be avoided while you're at your summer barbecue.

  • Crusty breads. Crusty breads and breads with seeds can be hard on braces. To go easy on your braces, stick to the soft breads like buns.
  • Raw vegetables. Hard, raw vegetables like carrots can be cut into small slivers to eat, but it's better to simply ask the person at the grill to cook your carrots over an open flame. Cooked vegetables are much better for your braces because they're soft, and when they're seared over an open flame, they're even more delicious!
  • Hard desserts. Hard desserts like hard candies, caramel-covered popcorn and pretzels all can do damage to your braces. If you must eat hard cookies, try softening them with milk first. Otherwise, stick to the ice cream (and remember to brush your teeth afterward!).

For more information about how to enjoy summer barbecues with braces, talk to your orthodontist.