Summertime is a wonderful time with beautiful weather and free afternoons to play. All that play can work up quite the appetite so it’s important to be prepared with healthy snacks for your child, especially if your child has braces. Braces can limit your child’s options for snacking, but that doesn’t mean snacking can’t still be delicious and fun. Here is a go-to guide of summer snacks for kids with braces.

Foods to Avoid

Perhaps it’s best to start off with a list of foods to avoid if your child has braces. The general rule is to avoid foods that are crunchy, sticky, chewy or hard. Anything that could put too much force on their braces, get caught in them, stuck to them or may dislodge something is best avoided. Also anything they need to bite into like corn on the cob, whole apples, tough beef jerky or bagels may lead to an extra trip to the orthodontist to repair their braces.

This may sound like it rules out a lot of their favorite foods, but before you get discouraged, wait until you see the list of things they can enjoy — there are still many delicious options!

Top Snack Ideas

Great ideas for snacks, for kids with braces, don’t have to be complicated. Foods that dissolve easily like smoothies, milkshakes or cereal that’s had time to soften in milk first are all easy options. Cooked veggies like steamed carrots or soft veggies like avocado slices are also great healthy snacks. Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are all naturally bite-sized and generally safe to eat with braces.

It’s also possible to cut up whole fruits like apples or hard foods like cheese so that your child can safely eat them without biting into them and potentially damaging their braces. Baked chips and puffed or crunchy cheese snacks may also be safe if your child is careful to eat one at a time to avoid breaking any brackets.

Taking Care of Braces is Important, Too

Being careful with snack choices is important, but it’s also important to remember to take good care of braces by practicing good oral hygiene as well. Even if your child carefully eats the right things, food may still become lodged under and in between the brackets and teeth. This can lead to damaging both the braces and teeth if not removed promptly. So encouraging proper brushing after each meal or snack is important as well as daily flossing.

Ask Your Orthodontist

If you’re having trouble coming up with summer snacks for kids with braces or your child is unsure of how to properly care for their teeth with their new braces, call their orthodontist and ask for advice or schedule their next appointment. Their orthodontist can provide a list of good food options, explain why it’s important to be careful, and demonstrate how to care for their teeth with braces. Braces can make things more complicated, but don’t get discouraged because it will be well worth the extra effort when you and your child see the finished results!

Call our Roswell, Artesia or Ruidoso dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.