Soft Desserts and Dinners to Enjoy Eating With Braces

Wearing braces during your treatment at Freeman Orthodontics can present some challenges when it comes to eating. Some foods may be difficult to remove from your brackets. Others could loosen those brackets or even break a wire. 

So what can you eat safely with braces? Lots of things! While you have some food restrictions, there aren’t as many as you might think. The best part is these restrictions are TEMPORARY. 

Once your braces come off, you can go back to eating these foods if you choose. However, many of the no-no foods aren’t that great for you (aka “junk food”), so you may find it healthier to do without them. 

Let’s take a look at the different types of foods you can and cannot eat.

Eating Meats With Braces

Can you eat meat with braces? Absolutely! You can enjoy ribs and chicken wings as long as you cut the meat from the bone before you eat. The same rule applies to turkey legs; do not gnaw on bones because this can damage your braces. 

Other meats may require you to cut them into small bites, so they’re easier to chew, such as steak, pork chops or pork loin, and chicken breasts.

Eating Vegetables and Fruits With Braces

You still need to include fruits and vegetables in your daily meals, but you may have to change how you eat them. Skip corn on the cob, whole raw apples and pears, and raw vegetables such as celery and carrots. 

Cook your vegetables instead, including corn off the cob and broccoli. Be careful with these two because their small particles can get stuck in your brackets. Be sure to brush well after eating them. 

As for fruits, you can still enjoy apples and pears, but cut your apples and pears into small bites or small slices. Better still, enjoy them cooked or as applesauce or pear sauce. 

Eating Desserts With Braces

Desserts and candies are delicious, but some can wreak havoc with your braces. Avoid caramel, taffy, and hard candies. Stay away from things like candied apples or popcorn balls. There are plenty of holiday and Halloween candies that are safe!

Pudding and ice cream are fine, but low-sugar versions are best. Pies, cakes, and other soft desserts are OK, too. For a healthier dessert, try cutting up some fruit and enjoying it alone or with a small dollop of whipped cream.

Here are some quick answers to common dessert questions:

Careful! That crunch of the cookie could hurt. Dipping them in milk will soften them up though!

Soft cookies are fine, but avoid the hard ones because they could loosen or even pop off a bracket. Chocolate chip cookies are amazing (especially the gooey ones that won’t break your brackets)

Yes! (Just make sure there aren’t any hard/crunchy add-ins)

Yes! (Just make sure there aren’t any hard/crunchy add-ins)

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • 3 Musketeers and other soft chocolate-only bars 
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • KitKats
  • Plain or peanut butter M&Ms (NOT peanut M&Ms)
  • Mounds
  • Peppermint patties
  • Taffy
  • Chewy candies (Tootsie Rolls, Chewy SweetTarts or Spree)
  • Caramels (including Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies, Milk Duds)
  • Caramel or candy apples
  • Candy or chocolate with nuts (Snickers, Almond Joy, etc.)
  • Gum
  • Hard candies (Nerds, Jolly Ranchers, Butterscotch, Peppermints)
  • Suckers
  • Candy corn and jelly beans
  • Jelly candies (Dots, Swedish Fish, Gummy, anything)

Food Tips for Braces in San Jose, CA

Remember that your mouth will be sore when you first get them and after adjustments with Dr. Matt Freeman. Stick to delicious soft foods until the sensitivity is reduced, such as mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and applesauce. Please do not hesitate to ask our team for soft foods recipes and meal ideas. We will be happy to take the time to explain which foods are the best choices and why.

 Schedule an appointment with Freeman Orthodontics or give us a call in our San Jose, CA, office to learn more. Until then, here are a couple of recipe suggestions for you! 

Braces Friendly Recipes

Lasagna is a great dinner choice because it provides you with several food groups in one easy dish.

  • 1 ½ pounds ground hamburger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 pound diced tomatoes — canned is fine
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 package of dry spaghetti sauce mix for seasoning
  • 10 oz. box dry lasagna
  • 3 cups ricotta or cottage cheese or 1 ½ cups each mixed
  • ½-cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound sliced or shredded Mozzarella cheese


  1. Brown and drain your hamburger meat. Dice the garlic and simmer the hamburger, garlic, basil, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and powdered sauce mix for ½ hour.
  2. Cook the lasagna noodles as directed on the package and drain.
  3. Beat the eggs and combine them with your ricotta or cottage cheese.
  4. Layer ½ of the noodles in a 13 x 9 pan. Spread ½ of your cottage cheese mix on top of the noodles, then layer ½ of the mozzarella on top. Finish this layer with ½ of your hamburger mix. Repeat the layering with the other half of your ingredients. 
  5. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

You can’t bite into raw apples, but you can enjoy baked apple slices. You can even throw in some sliced pears if you like. Just replace one of the apples with a pear. 

  • 2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup apple juice or water
  • 3 large apples or 2 apples and a pear – peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 ¾ tablespoons water


  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Prepare a glass baking dish by greasing it with butter or cooking spray. 
  2. Combine brown sugar, white sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg in a bowl. Add melted butter and vanilla and mix. Pour over apples and pears into the baking dish and mix well to coat the apples and pears completely. Pour in the apple juice for moisture.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes until apples and pears are tender, checking for moisture to ensure they stay moist. Cover and bake 15 minutes more until tender. Remove and enjoy with your favorite ice cream. 

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