We love good food and some of our patients are concerned that they might not be able to eat their favorite foods while in orthodontic treatment. The thought that just breaks our hearts. When you’re undergoing treatment you don’t need to go on a special braces diet and you can still eat a lot of the things you love. However, there are a few foods that are off limits or need to be cut up or modified. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small trade-off for a perfect smile, and you can justify a few extra milkshakes along the way. Being an orthodontist in Brooklyn also makes giving patients food recommendations super easy, since we have the best food in the world! Not only do we have amazing cuisine all over the place, there’s tons of braces-friendly food in Park Slope and Brooklyn as a whole.
What Can I Eat With Braces?
While in braces you really want to stay away from chewy, sticky or extremely hard foods. We recommend to our patients to avoid things like caramel, taffy and other chewy candies, chewing gum, hard candy, popcorn and corn on the cob (but cut it off the cob and you can eat it to heart’s content!). In addition, soda and sugary beverages should be enjoyed in moderation as they can cause tooth decay. Foods like chicken wings and bbq ribs are fine as long as you pull the meat off the bone. Break bagels and chewy breads and cut hard foods like raw carrots and apples into small bitesize pieces. Be careful with chips, nuts and anything that could potentially damage your brackets. Keep in mind, it’s not just what to eat with braces but how to eat with braces on. Chew with your back teeth and don’t tear or bite with your front teeth.
Easy to eat foods are always a win when we’re you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. After you get your braces tightened your mouth may be sore, and you’ll probably want to opt for cold drinks and soft foods (think smoothies, mashed potatoes, applesauce, soups, overcooked pasta, over-steamed veggies, etc.). If you’re ever in doubt about a food, break it or cut it up or find an alternative.
What Type of Restaurants Can I Eat at With Braces?
There are braces-friendly food options at pretty much any restaurant but we thought we’d make it easier for you and include some recommendations that our patients will love, particularly after having their braces adjusted. Without further ado and in no particular order here are just a handful of our favorite braces-friendly restaurants in Brooklyn:
Culture: An American Yogurt Company
331 5th Avenue: Not only is the selection at Culture healthy, it’s awesome for braces wearers. The spot makes its own fresh and frozen yogurt in house with live probiotic cultures and local milk. That’s not even to mention the yummy toppings.
25 Bond Street: Ganso Ramen serves sophisticated, delicious, easy-on-the-teeth ramen. For the adults we suggest the “Stamina” Ramen but younger braces wearers will enjoy one of their kid-sized bowls of ramen.
170 Flatbush Ave – We did say milkshakes and other sweet treats were fine in moderation and everyone deserves some Shake Shack frozen custard now and then.
901 Fulton Street – Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food and easy on the jaws to boot. Mac Shack takes this staple to the next level with a creative, mouth-watering menu.
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Punchline Juice Bar
701 Nostrand Ave – Looking for something healthy and chilled post-appointment? Try the smoothies or juice at Punchline.
Randazzo’s Clam Bar
2017 Emmons Ave – Chowder at Randazzo’s will keep you warm and cozy. We love the Spicy Crab Corn Chowder!
The Brooklyn Star
593 Lorimer Street – Considering The Brooklyn Star boasts a full menu of Southern comfort food, there are actually quite a few options for those in braces including the Tripe Chili and Mac and Cheese.
The brunch menu at Benchmark offers the softest, fluffiest pancakes. Cut them up and they’ll melt in your mouth without wreaking havoc on your braces. Or try one of their omelets.
L’Albero dei Gelati
341 5th Ave –Expand your horizons with their famous savory gelato (think green beans and mint or zucchini flower) and soothe an achy mouth at the same time.
522 6th Ave – Piccoli Trattoria creates amazing Italian food in Park Slope and you know what’s easier to enjoy with braces than pasta? The Ravioli di Caprino is excellent.
Corner of Vermont
374-B 5th Ave – With an all-day breakfast, grilled cheese, hot dogs and more shakes than you can, well, shake a stick at this is a great local spot In their own words, Corner of Vermont prepares their food with main ingredients from Vermont farms.
287 9th St – While the Bagel Pub in Park Slope is pretty awesome for both bagels and all manners of baked goods, it’s actually a personal favourite for smoothies and juices.
280 5th Avenue – This Park Slope institution is a family-friendly version of the original SoHo original Blue Ribbon. In addition to being open seven days a week, Blue Ribbon has the most amazing, and braces-friendly mashed potatoes and gravy!
237 Fifth Ave – As the name implies, Luke’s lobster offers Maine-style seafood and offers indoor seating with a beautiful backyard for al fresco dining. Make sure to try the Lobster Bisque, not only is it braces-friendly, it’s extremely delicious.