With summer ending and school back in full swing, we have many kids who are back at school sporting a new set of braces. We want to help make sure those new braces are as strong as possible and to keep them working at their best.
Having breaks in any of the wires or issues with the brackets can cause a lot of discomfort and slow down the treatment process. Therefore there are a set of foods that you want to avoid. There are many articles out there, including ones we’ve published, that go over what foods you can or can’t eat. We decided to take it one step further and actually go over school food that you will see everyday.
Most of our patients come from the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek and Roswell. Therefore, our look today is mainly on Fulton County Schools. All the schools from the county participate in the same menus for the students.
You can download these at the Fulton County School’s menu page.
This piece was inspired by Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry who has a guide for school lunches for healthy teeth. As opposed to that piece, ours strictly focuses on those students who have braces. Note that foods that are healthy for your teeth can be terrible for your braces.
Braces Friendly High School Breakfasts in Alpharetta & Johns Creek
The high schools breakfasts are on a recurring schedule that you can see above. It lays out the next 4 months of breakfast options week by week for parents and kids.
Non Braces Friendly Breakfast Options in Alpharetta & Johns Creek Schools
We’ll first go over the foods that you’ll want your teens to avoid:
Sausage Breakfast Bagel: Chewy and hard foods should be avoided while on braces and as you know, bagels when toasted or untoasted can be a particularly hard substance to be biting into and chewing. The hardness of the bagel can wear away the glue that holds the braces and cause damage.
Yogurt Parfait with Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal: Yogurt is great for teeth and braces, where the concern is the cereal. Poptarts can be really hard if cold and are extremely sugary. Hard cereals and granola are a big no no because they can snap wires of the braces. These can be a cause for concern, however if your child just eats the yogurt there is absolutely no concern.
Other foods you want to be mindful is the assorted fresh fruit. These fruits should already be cut up, however sometimes in cafeterias they do pass out whole apples and fruits. Fruits that you have to bite into can heavily impact and tug on the braces and cause them to get loose. Be mindful of whole apples, carrots, pears, etc.
Braces Friendly Breakfast Options in Alpharetta & Johns Creek Schools
Foods that you can perfectly enjoy:
Chicken & Sausage Biscuits: Biscuits are a soft pastry (if baked right) and are a perfect soft food that your child can partake in without any worry of tearing or wearing down the braces.
Fresh Toast Sticks: French toast sticks are another one of those soft pastries that are soft for teeth and braces that should not cause any issues. Be careful as these can be sugary and lead to tooth decay, however in moderation, its perfectly fine to be eating with braces on.
Smoothie with Blueberry Muffin: Both the smoothie and blueberry muffin are great foods for breakfast as they have fruit for the smoothies and the soft build of a muffin. It’s another great option that should absolutely no problems with your braces.
Mini Pancakes: Who doesn’t love pancakes for breakfast?! Well don’t worry pancakes are still a food that you can enjoy with braces. Of course, just like many of the other options, when lathered in syrup they can be overloaded with sugar so don’t over do the pancakes.
We did want to note that we wanted to include Yogurt as a food that is great for those with braces, however we did find some reason to pause. Hard foods like nuts and cereals can cause hard impacts on your braces. Most of the yogurt options includes cereal and as we wrote above. Another option on Thursdays is a poptart. Poptarts are soft so they should be okay for your child to eat, but do note that they are loaded with sugar!
Overall the breakfast options for the high schools for the Alpharetta and Johns Creek schools provide breakfast options that aren’t particularly large threats to your child’s braces. Most of the foods are soft and shouldn’t pose a problem.
Braces Friendly High School Lunches in Alpharetta & Johns Creek
When it comes to the lunch menu for the high schools there are many more options for the students and subsequently there are more items to be mindful of.
Non Braces Friendly Lunch Options in Alpharetta & Johns Creek Schools
The foods that your child should be avoiding while on braces include:
Fresh Deli Subs: For any of the sandwiches it’s not an absolute no no, but with different breads there are different considerations. If the bread is too tough, like a baguette, it can pull and dislodge your brackets. Bread with seeds can get lodged into your braces and extremely difficult to get out. The lunch menu features a sandwich every day, so you want your child to be mindful to make sure that if they do have a sandwich, the bread is soft and void of any seeds.
Carrots and Celery: The carrots and celery are a side dish that are probably not even that popular among the students. However, you’ll want to be careful with these because they are like apples and are a hard food to bite into. Repeated biting into a hard carrot and celery can wear down the braces and may cause brackets or wires to break. If the carrots and celery are cooked or steamed, they are fine to eat because they are then soft.
White Queso Nacho & Grande Nacho Bowl: Crispy food, especially nachos, are not something that you want to bite into if you have braces. The reason you want to avoid nachos is because they are a hard and crispy food that when not carefully can create impact on your brackets and wires and may put undue stress on the wires. Sometimes the wrong bite down on a chip that is overly fried can dislodge wires.
Pizza Crust & Braces: Pizza is fine, it’s just the crust that you want your child to be aware of. Pizza crusts tend to be dense or really tough. This can make it hard for your braces to stay in place while they are constantly being pulled on by the chewy nature of pizza crust. Sometimes pizza crust is extremely crispy and crunch, when its thin crust, and that can also cause problems for braces, so it’s always best to stay clear of pizza crust.
Overall just make sure to keep away from the hard and chewy foods. There are a lot foods that are surprisingly hard on our teeth, however we have just gotten use to them over the years.
Braces Friendly Lunch Options in Alpharetta & Johns Creek Schools
Now that we got the foods that you shouldn’t be eating with braces, we can now jump to all the great foods that you CAN eat.
Chicken Nuggets with Roll: Chicken nuggets are fair game! They are soft and easy on your teeth and braces. Just be careful with that roll. If the roll is hard and chewy then you’ll want to avoid it all together. If the roll is warm and soft, then go ahead, but most of the time we discourage the eating of rolls.
General Tsao’s and Korean BBQ Grilled Chicken: Chicken is fine as a food, but you want to be mindful of tough meat. Sometimes we all get a little lazy and use our teeth to just pull and yank on the meat with our teeth. When eating the chicken use a fork and knife to cut the pieces up into small pieces. Otherwise, the chicken is good!
Meatball Spaghetti Bowl & Chicken Alfredo: Pasta is a great food for braces because its soft and isn’t hard on the teeth. The meatball spaghetti and chicken alfredo are great tasting options with no risk for the braces and brackets. Like we mentioned above, you just got to be careful with the breadsticks that come with it.
Shrimp Mac & Cheese: Mac & Cheese is a very popular option that many orthodontists recommend to their patients. It is a very soft food and doesn’t harm the braces whatsoever. And with mac & cheese being a popular for many people, it’s not hard to convince people to eat more mac & cheese.
French Fries & Tater Tots: Both should be relatively fine for eating. If the french fries are particularly crips then you’ll want to be careful, however if the french fries are soft then you should be all good to go. The same will go for the tater tots.
Overall the Fulton County lunches have a lot of variety that are conducive for your kids who have braces.
Something you have to take into consideration when choosing food for braces is that there are foods that are extremely healthy for you and your teeth, but are terrible for braces. And there are foods that are not healthy for you, but don’t harm braces at all.
Many people assume that if it’s healthy for your teeth, it should be A-ok with their braces. That’s simply not the case, it requires a little bit of education, but hopefully with our guide above it will make things a little easier to decide when picking food.
Getting More Information from the Schools
Reading a menu sometimes just doesn’t fully explain how a food will come out looking. If you don’t believe us, try googling any of the foods on the lunch menu and you’ll see a wide variety of photos and styles of the food that you won’t know what your looking at anymore.
It’s always best to get a first hand look or just to talk to school officials to ensure that the food is braces friendly. We’ve compiled a list of the high schools in the area:
Chattahoochee High School
5230 Taylor Road
Johns Creek, GA 30022
Johns Creek High School
5575 State Bridge Road
Johns Creek, GA 30022
Northview High School
10625 Parsons Road
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Alpharetta High School
3595 Webb Bridge Road
Alpharetta, GA 30005
We hope this guide will help those families who have new braces in the family and want to make sure to keep the treatment process quick and effective.
Eating the right foods and avoiding hiccups by eating the right foods will be the best way to get going on this path.
If there is any foods that we may have left off or foods that you have certain questions about, leave us a comment below!