braces foods

Chicken Nuggets & Braces

July 5th, 2023

Braces can be a major adjustment for anyone, especially when it comes to diet. Many orthodontists recommend avoiding hard, chewy, or sticky foods to prevent broken brackets. However, one common favorite among all ages is chicken nuggets. But can people with braces still indulge in these crispy, breaded delights?

In this blog, we will look at a few of our favorite chicken nuggets from area restaurants and see how they fare in the world of braces.

Generally, chicken nuggets are good food for patients with braces. But which ones are considered the best for braces? We recently went around town buying up chicken nuggets (for science!), and we found that some are more suitable than others when you have braces.

The restaurants we visited include Wendy's, Chick-fil-a, Sonic, Zacadoo's, and Mcdonald's. We bought these nuggets from each restaurant and brought them back to test on our own braces model.

We decided not to include chicken strips in our test because we feel chicken strips are entirely something else. Still delicious, just not nugs!

And please remember that this is strictly based on crunchiness and toughness, not taste.

Here are our findings:

1. Wendy's Chicken Nuggets

These are the middle of the road in our braces test. The soft interior makes it very easy to eat, but depending on the crunchiness of the outside, it could be difficult to bite into. Side note: Not good cold. They became tough and dry.

2. Chick-fil-a Chicken Nuggets

The Lord's Chicken Nuggets are some of the most popular in our area, so we had high hopes for them. And we were not disappointed. These nuggets were tender and juicy and had a light batter on the outside, making them easy to bite into, even with brackets. The only thing to watch for may be the denseness of the chicken itself since it's real chicken breast.

3. Sonic Drive-In Chicken Nuggets... AKA Popcorn Chicken

So while technically not a chicken nugget, these small bite-sized chicken pieces were their equivalent. Unfortunately, these did not fare well in our braces test, and we recommend caution with these while you have braces on your teeth. Or better yet, avoid them altogether and opt for other options at Sonic to prevent possible bent wires or broken brackets. We love their burgers and tots! And their milkshakes!

4. Zacadoo's Chicken Nuggets

This is a local place in our area, and it's well-known for its chicken fingers. On the day we tried them, they were overcooked and chewy, making them difficult for the braces model to bite into. The batter was much too hard to eat without possibly bending wires or breaking off brackets. Maybe these would be a good option on a better day, but we can't recommend them for our test.

5. McDonald's Chicken Nuggets

The classic! These are the nuggets that started it all, the ones we all grew up on. McDonald's chicken nuggets are known for their crispy coating, but our study found that the ones we received were surprisingly easy to bite into and even easier to eat. The coating was not too hard and would not be a problem to eat with braces on, as long as the nuggets were not too old or overcooked.

Mostly, all chicken nuggets are the same, a great food option for patients with braces. While we recommend avoiding popcorn chicken varieties due to the extreme crispness and chewiness, the classic nuggets are a great choice! Just be mindful of how your nuggets are prepared, and always be careful eating nuggets with extra heavy coating or breading. Also, watch out for overcooked nuggets, as these can be harder to bite into.

And as always -- Don't forget to brush your teeth!

So... Which is your favorite chicken nugget? Let us know in the comments below!

Pass the sauce and happy eating!

Can I eat fast food with braces?

April 11th, 2023

Do you or your teen have braces and find it challenging to enjoy fast food delicacies? Fear not! This blog post will explore creative ways to savor your favorite fast-food treats without compromising your orthodontic progress. Join us as we navigate the world of braces-friendly fast food indulgence, ensuring both parents and teens can enjoy their meals without worry.

photo of picnic table showing a model of braces with fast food bags in the background

Oh, the dilemma of having braces and craving your favorite fast food! Fast food has become so essential to our culture that it's hard to avoid. Plus, it's a quick and easy meal option for busy individuals. However, having braces can make indulging in fast food tricky, and it may even seem impossible at times. The good news is that many braces-friendly fast food options won't damage your orthodontic progress. It all depends on making the best choice available to you at the time.

Let's dive in and make braces life a little more delicious!

We're breaking down three of the most popular fast food types and sharing braces-friendly fast food options for each.

model of braces biting into pizza

1. Pizza

It's not just Michelangelo; most Americans love pizza! In fact, 73% of adults* consume pizza at least once a month. So, with it being such a favorite food, is it something you can enjoy while wearing braces?

Happily, the answer is yes! While patients must be careful anytime they are directly biting into a food item, pizza is considered a braces-safe food.

But watch out for extra thick dough varieties that can get stuck in braces and can bend wires, and we do not recommend eating the end crusts of any type of pizza. Pizza crusts are too hard for braces, and biting down on them can cause breakage and extended treatment times.

model of braces eating a taco

2. Tacos

Not all tacos are bad for braces! While they are a common item to avoid when eating hard, crunchy shells or tortilla chips, choosing flour tortillas for soft tacos is a great option. They are soft and flexible and don't require much care like the more rigid shells. So indulge your next late-night taco craving with a soft flour tortilla, quesadilla, or burrito!

Cinnamon twists should also be traded in for the very popular cinnamon roll bites at your favorite fast-food Mexican joint.

3. Chicken

Nuggets, tenders, strips, or on the bone, Chicken is a very popular fast food choice for many families with kids.

Biting directly into chicken on the bone is not recommended because the harder bones are likely to bend the wires of braces. The same goes for wings. In these instances, we encourage our patients to cut the chicken into small pieces before eating.

Nuggets and tenders are also excellent options for people craving chicken! Smaller in size and boneless, they are considered braces-friendly food. While we should always be cautious of the amount of breading on the chicken and ensure it is not too thick or hard to bite into, chicken is an excellent choice for those who are eating fast food while having braces.

What about you?

Where is your favorite place to eat fast food while wearing braces? Do you have a favorite nugget place? Be sure to share with us in the comments below! If you ever have questions about foods to avoid with braces, you can always check out our previous blog post on the topic or call our Valdosta, GA office at (229) 245-1800. We're here to help you live life smiling!


Braces Approved Foods For Easter

March 30th, 2023

purple marshmallow peep candies
Finding braces-friendly foods can be tricky, especially at Easter.

Easter is a time for celebrating and spending time with family, but for those who wear braces, it can also be a time of anxiety about what foods to eat.

Many things plentiful during this time of year are not recommended for braces, such as nuts, licorice, and chewy and gummy candies.

Thankfully, plenty of brace-approved foods are also perfect for Easter. From roasted vegetables to soft fruits and even mashed potatoes and sweet treats, there are plenty of great options to choose from that won't harm your braces. By being mindful of the types of foods you eat this holiday, you can enjoy all of your favorite Easter treats without any added stress or damage to your braces. Be good to your smile!

Here are a few of our favorite braces-friendly foods for Easter.

1. Veggies

Good for you nutritionally and orthodontically; we are big veggie fans here! Veggies are loaded with vitamins and minerals; when they are roasted, they become easier to chew. Mashed veggies, like potatoes or squash, are also an excellent option for those eating softer foods due to braces on their teeth. Avoid eating raw veggies or those with hard skins, as they can break brackets or wires.

2. Fruit

Most fruits are safe to eat when you have braces, and with the warmer spring weather, many of our favorites are in season! Strawberries and blueberries are excellent options and often make up many Easter desserts. We recommend caution when eating apples and pears and suggest that these fruits be enjoyed cut up into smaller pieces.

3. Deviled Eggs or Whole Hard Boiled Eggs

A plate of deviled eggs

Is it even Easter in the south if you don't have deviled eggs? I mean, who would want to pass on such a classic Easter food? Also, many people still color traditional hard-boiled eggs to hide on Easter. Eggs of all varieties are safe to eat and enjoy while you are wearing braces.

4. Ham

Another Easter staple for many families, ham can be eaten when you have braces. If the outside texture is a bit chewy, you can dice it up into small pieces to make for safer eating. We love ham with brown sugar glaze or pineapple!

5. Chocolate Bunnies

The star of every Easter basket! These hollowed or solid chocolate bunnies are perfectly safe to enjoy while wearing braces. Just be sure to keep your teeth brushed soon after to avoid any cavities!

A brown chocolate Easter bunny

6. Chocolate Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs, PB Cup Eggs

The classics that people love to enjoy! These favorites of many people are not only delicious but okay with your braces. Just be careful anytime you are biting directly into any kind of candy, especially those with a candy-coated shell.

7. Peeps and other marshmallow treats

Marshmallow bunnies and chicks are a delicious treat to enjoy while wearing braces; just be sure to keep your bites small to avoid any potential damage to your teeth or braces. Since this treat is loaded with sugar, you will want to brush your teeth soon after eating it.

What other treats can you enjoy while wearing braces? Leave them in the comments below! We hope you all have a very blessed Easter season! Live Life Smiling!

An Easter basket decorated with colorful hard boiled eggs.

Contact Us!
call email