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Summer is the perfect time to enjoy delicious and refreshing treats. But if you want to be diligent about your dental health and you’re in the middle of your braces treatment, you might be wondering, “Which summertime treats are braces-friendly foods, healthy for your teeth, and safe to eat?”

The short answer is that foods that are good for teeth typically include whole foods, low sugar foods, and foods rich in minerals and vitamins. Foods to avoid with braces? Hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can damage your braces or get stuck in them.

Still not sure what summer foods you can eat with braces? Our San Diego Smile Pros team has 10 smile-friendly and braces-friendly summer treats below that you can enjoy without worry!

1. Popsicles Made with 100% Fruit Juice

Popsicles are a summer staple but many store-bought options are loaded with added sugars. Instead, try making your own popsicles. They’re refreshing, hydrating, and free from the refined sugars or glucose-fructose that can lead to tooth decay. They’re also a great option for eating with braces during the initial weeks of starting treatment. Take a look at these teeth-healthy and braces-friendly popsicle recipes to inspire you.

2. Greek Yogurt with Fresh, In-Season Berries

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and probiotics for strengthening your teeth and overall health. Pair it with fresh, in-season berries for one of the yummiest summer snacks without a lot of sugar. Berries have vitamins C, K, magnesium, and potassium that can contribute to healthy soft oral tissues.

3. Fruit & Veggie Smoothies

Smoothies can be customized to your taste or what you’re craving. Blend together low-fat milk or greek yogurt, your favorite fruits, and a handful of spinach for extra vitamins and minerals for your teeth like vitamins C and E, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Smoothies are a braces-friendly food that are Smile Pros approved!

4. Frozen Watermelon Popsicles

Watermelon is hydrating and delicious — perfect for summer days. To make frozen watermelon popsicles, simply cut watermelon into slices or cubes, insert a popsicle stick, lay them on a baking sheet, and freeze. These tick all the boxes: gentle on braces, full of vitamins A and C, and a definite summertime treat!

5. Cottage Cheese with Pineapple

Cottage cheese boasts calcium and pairs wonderfully with pineapple for a tropical, braces-friendly snack. The soft texture of cottage cheese makes it a perfect food with braces, while the pineapple adds a burst of sweetness and bone-strengthening copper and manganese.

6. Applesauce

If you’re craving something sweet and fruity but need to avoid crunch because of braces, unsweetened applesauce is a perfect alternative. Applesauce is gentle on your braces making it an excellent option to eat during the first week. You can also use applesauce as a sweetener in some baked goods instead of sugar.

7. Ice Cream

Can you eat ice cream with braces? Yes, you can! Since ice cream melts, it doesn’t pose the same risk to damaging your braces as other treats like sticky or chewy candies do. Dr. Durschlag’s tips for braces-friendly ice cream? Choose ice cream flavors with less added sugar, avoid hard mix-ins like nuts or candy pieces, and eat in moderation. And pro tip? Rinse your mouth with water afterward to help remove sugars that have stuck to your teeth.

8. Cheese, Please!

Did you know cheese is good for your teeth? Yes, eating cheese helps lower your oral pH and produces saliva to wash away food particles and sugars. It also contains calcium, phosphate, and protein that benefits your teeth health.

9. Hummus & Roasted Veggies

It seems a summertime picnic isn’t complete without veggies and dip. Hummus with roasted veggies is a winning combination for oral health and braces. It’s definitely one of those satisfying snacks without a lot of sugar, it has the health benefits of chickpeas, plus it’s soft so you can definitely put it in the “what you can eat with braces” column.

10. BBQ (Yes! That’s Right!)

Some might think that one of the foods to avoid with braces is BBQ’d meat. But we’re here with the great news that having braces doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one of summer’s most beloved activities. For any bone-in, grilled meat, just be sure to cut small pieces off the bone and place carefully in the back teeth to chew. Don’t bite and tear into the meat with your front teeth.

Looking Out for Your Braces and Oral Health in San Diego

Dr. Durschlag, your board-certified orthodontist, and Dr. Hayes, your board-certified pediatric dentist, want to help our San Diego patients maintain healthy, happy smiles.

Need more advice about foods you can eat with braces? With both pediatric dentistry and orthodontics in one place, we’re a convenient one-stop-shop for the oral health expertise you need. We’re happy to answer all your questions at your next appointment.

Schedule your next visit at our modern, high-tech, and welcoming San Diego office.