What Can You Eat for the First Week of Braces?


When you first get your braces, there’s a lot to get used to. Your teeth feel weird! It takes a whole lot longer to brush! And then there’s the eating part—there are some foods that you can’t have until you get your braces off and others that you just might not want to eat when your teeth are feeling sore from your newly placed braces. Luckily, this discomfort is temporary, but in the meantime, it’s a good idea to eat foods that are easy to chew.

Foods to Eat During the First Week of Braces

Why do your teeth hurt so much when you first get braces? It’s simple—because they’re working! Braces are able to move your teeth by exerting slight, constant pressure on them. At first, this can be quite uncomfortable, but you’ll quickly get used to it and after a while, you won’t even notice it. (Although you will have some soreness after you come to our office for adjustments, it’s nothing like that first week!)

One of the ways you can keep your discomfort to a minimum is by eating a diet of liquid or soft foods until your teeth start to feel normal again. Let’s go meal-by-meal and talk about what that might look like:


  • Scrambled eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
  • Pancakes
  • Smoothies
  • Muffins


  • Peanut butter and jelly on soft bread
  • Soup
  • Tuna, chicken, or egg salad
  • Mac and cheese


  • Mashed potatoes
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Pasta
  • Polenta
  • Chili
  • Quesadilla with cheese and beans


  • Soft fruits
  • Yogurt
  • Apple sauce
  • Cottage cheese
  • Avocado
  • Pudding
  • Ice cream (getting braces is the perfect excuse to have ice cream as a snack!)

In short, anything that requires little chewing is a good pick. You might want to start the week with smoothies, soups, and mashed potatoes, and then work your way up to pasta, pancakes, and fruits, depending on how you feel. You won’t damage your teeth or braces by eating these foods, so there’s really no timeline for when to incorporate them back into your diet again. It all depends on your comfort level.

Foods to Avoid During the First Week of Braces

Some foods that have the potential to aggravate any discomfort you’re feeling from your new braces include chewy bread (think a crusty sourdough or French baguette), certain meats, jerky, fruit leather, apples, carrots, celery, and crunchy chips. Again—use your comfort level as your guide.

Foods to Avoid Until You Get Your Braces Off

There are also some foods that you shouldn’t eat at all when you have braces and there are others that you can eat with some modifications. For example:

  • Apples, carrots, and other crunchy fruits and vegetables should be cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • You should never chew on ice—even if you don’t have braces, it’s a habit that can damage your teeth!
  • No popcorn, caramels, hard nuts like almonds, gummies, and sticky candies.
  • If you eat corn-on-the-cob, remove the corn first. (There’s a handy little tool called a Corn Zipper that makes this easy!)

Learn More About Life With Braces

If you have questions about what life will be like with braces, contact us today or schedule an appointment at one of our two St. Paul area locations.