Summer is a great time to get together with family, to enjoy the beautiful weather, and to eat some delicious foods. If you have braces, you may need to make a few alterations to your diet this season. Find out which snacks you should try and which you should avoid this summer if you are straightening your teeth with braces. Foods to Avoid with Braces this Summer Dental hygiene is especially important when you are wearing braces, and you will need to take extra precautions to make sure your teeth and hardware are in good condition. Therefore, there are some foods that you should be sure to avoid snacking on this summer. Popcorn Whether you are spending an afternoon at a baseball game or an evening at the drive-in movie theater, a bag of salty, buttery popcorn is hard to resist. Unfortunately, that is one food that you should cross off of your snack list this summer if you’ve got braces. Popcorn can easily get stuck in between your brackets and wires, and the pieces can be difficult to remove. If kernels become stuck between your teeth and the wires, you can ultimately cause damage to your hardware and the gums, and tooth decay can occur if the food particles are not removed. Corn on the Cob Corn on the cob is a popular staple at summer backyard barbecues, but this food item is a nightmare for braces. Biting into a hard corn cob can cause your brackets to pop off or your arch wires to bend. The same principal holds true when eating any type of meat off of a bone, such as chicken, barbecue ribs, or turkey legs. While you don’t have to avoid these barbecued items entirely, it is important to forgo eating items off the bone or cob in favor of cutting up the item ahead of time. Summer Snack Ideas with Braces While there are several food items that you’ll need to avoid this summer with your braces, there are also a lot of great snacks that you can enjoy. Get creative with soft versions of your favorite treats, and try out a few great summer snack options. Strawberry Smoothie A refreshing strawberry smoothie is a great way to cool off on a hot summer day. Not only is a smoothie a braces-friendly snack, but these drinks are nutritious and will help to achieve your daily dietary requirements of fruit. You can quickly mix up a delicious smoothie using a blender by tossing in 10 sliced strawberries, 5 ice cubes, ½ cup of low-fat milk, and 3 scoops of vanilla yogurt or ice ream. Then, simply blend until smooth and drink with a straw. Fruit Salad Take advantage of all the great fresh produce that is available in the summer, and make your family a fruit salad. Biting into an apple could be damaging to your braces, but cutting up fruit into bite-sized pieces will allow you to chow down without hesitation. Choose soft fruits like grapes, strawberries, oranges, tangerines, and bananas, and add a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown before tossing your salad together. Ice Cream A tall ice cream cone piled high with your favorite flavors is a staple of summertime, and fortunately, having braces doesn’t mean that you have to miss out this summer. The most important part is to choose ice cream flavors that don’t contain nuts or hard candy pieces that could potentially damage your brackets and wires. A soft sugar cone may also be a better choice than the denser waffle cone options, as they will break apart more easily when biting. If you have any questions or concerns about what you can and cannot eat with your braces this summer, contact us today!