The Do’s & Don’ts of Packing Your Child’s School Lunch: Braces Edition

February 24, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — dailysmilesmacarthur @ 3:24 pm
a child with braces eating pasta for lunch

Did your child just get braces to help straighten their teeth and set their smile up for success as an adult? While their new oral appliance may cause them some discomfort and tenderness to begin with, there are some ways you can off-set this and help them effortlessly glide to the finish-line of their treatment, like packing braces-friendly foods in their lunchbox! Read on to learn what foods they should be avoiding and what ones are great choices.

Crunchy Foods Aren’t Such a Good Choice

With braces on, it’s especially important that your child avoid foods that are hard, chewy, and sticky, because they could cause a bracket to dislodge or an archwire to break. It may be fine for them to eat it one time, but the truth is, these foods are a gamble for you and your child, because they could land you an urgent visit with your dentist. Some of these crunchy, sticky, and chewy foods to avoid include:

  • Croutons
  • Raw vegetables (like celery and raw carrots)
  • Ice
  • Corn on the cob
  • Popcorn
  • Meat on a bone
  • Taffy
  • Licorice
  • Fudge
  • Chewing gum

And the list goes on! As long as you help your child avoid this notorious problem-causing snacks, they can have a stress-free treatment.

Foods with Small Seeds and Pieces Can Cause Problems

One type of snack that many parents and braces-wearers underestimate is foods that have small pieces attached to them or seeds. These can become lodged between the teeth, get stuck around the brackets or wires, and make it difficult to maintain a healthy smile while undergoing treatment. Some foods in this category to avoid include:

  • Chunky peanut butter
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Broccoli florets
  • Bread with seeds or grains
  • Strawberries

Make a Plan & Set Your Child Up for Success!

It’s important to set your child up for a great orthodontic experience by helping them avoid foods, habits, and oral problems along their journey. It may seem like all that has been mentioned is what not to feed them, but the truth is, there are countless foods and snacks that are just fine for them to eat, too, including:

  • Cheese sticks
  • Steamed fresh vegetables
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Yogurt
  • Potato salad
  • Meat and cheese sandwiches
  • Pita bread and hummus
  • Sliced cucumbers or bell peppers
  • Soft cookies

It’s also a good idea to send your child to school with a small container of orthodontic wax as well, in case they experience any discomfort in the middle of their class!

By being mindful of what you’re encouraging your child to eat, you can minimize any unexpected visits to your dentist throughout your child’s treatment, which will save you time and worry and save them discomfort. Before you know it, they’ll have their braces off and be able to enjoy their beautifully straightened smile!

About the Author

Dr. Rafiq Hirji has been a dentist for over a decade, and he loves watching his patients improve their oral health and achieve a smile that they’re proud of. He has completely advanced training and continuing education in a wide array of specialty services, including orthodontics and pediatric dentistry. For questions or to schedule an appointment for your child to learn more about braces, visit Daily Smiles MacArthur’s website or call 972-546-4114.

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