Because not all school lunches are created equal, you may be a parent who packs a bento box or brown bag for your child on a daily basis – and if your son or daughter is sporting metal braces or clear braces, that can make the lunch rush slightly more challenging.
Considerations for Your Braces-Wearing Teen’s Lunch
It’s easy to toss prepackaged snacks into a lunchbox, but they’re not the food that’s going to properly fuel your child and keep him going for the afternoon. They’re also not friendly to a teen who wears braces and has to worry about what might be stuck in their brackets for the rest of the afternoon.
There are also post-tightening days to consider, when your child’s mouth will be slightly sore, making eating while wearing braces more difficult. In cases of soreness or sensitivity, soft foods should do the trick. Healthy and tender foods include soup, pasta, pudding, or fruits like a banana, avocado, or mango. Put a hold on sandwiches, crackers, chips, or celery and carrot sticks.
Foodstuffs for Braces-Wearers to Avoid
The American Dental Association recommends that anyone who wears braces – whether metal braces or invisible aligners – should avoid excessive snacking and foods that could damage the braces such as hard candy, gum, popcorn, and nuts. Yet another reason it’s important to pack a filling lunch – it’ll help curb that after-school candy bar noshing.
Keep in mind that maintaining a healthy smile while wearing braces takes extra effort beyond normal brushing and flossing. It’s your child’s responsibility to maintain their smile, but you can do your part by keeping the chewy, gooey, sticky foods out of their lunchbox and away from your kid’s braces.
It’s important to monitor and minimize your pre-teen or teen’s sugar intake too, particularly since teens are big fans of soda. Braces-wearers are not immune to cavities. In fact, they’re even more susceptible because the teeth under the brackets and wires require extra care and diligence to keep them clean.
Best Foods to Pack in Your Teen’s Lunch
So what foods should you pack in your braces-wearing teen’s lunch? Chicken, turkey, beef, and eggs are great for teeth since they contain phosphorous and calcium which enhances the tooth enamel and, in lunch-friendly forms, it can be relatively easy for a braces-wearer to eat these foods.
Sugar-free yogurt works well to neutralize acids in the mouth before they can cause major damage, and there should be no trouble for your child when spooning up this tasty side.
As for beverages, milk and water are the best choices. Juice and soda just aren’t helpful, especially for someone who wears braces. And encourage your child to avoid chewing on ice which could damage their braces.
Plan for Healthy Lunches and Healthy Teeth
School lunches take a little planning when your teen has braces, but thinking ahead is a plus because it also means you’ll be able to provide your child with healthier options as well as foods that aren’t harmful to their orthodontia or teeth. Schedule your initial consultation with Baum Orthodontics in Los Angeles today to learn more about the braces options available for your child’s orthodontia needs, and for tips about the best foods to eat and avoid while wearing braces.