Many of our patients are middle schoolers and with that there are many things going on. With new environments, friends and social pressures, often the last thing our patients think of is what they can or can’t eat. To be honest, what most of our patients are concerned about is how they will look with braces.
To make it easier for everyone, we decided to create a guide for our middle school patients so that they can have an easy reference for what they can and can’t eat if they are eating school lunches.
This post follows up on our piece where we looked at high school lunches in Johns Creek & Alpharetta.
Braces-Friendly Middle School Breakfasts in Alpharetta & Johns Creek
Let’s begin with everyone’s favorite meal, breakfast! The breakfast menu above is for the academic year of 2018 to 2019 and lists the breakfast options from August to December.
When it comes to breakfast and braces, the one thing to understand is that there are some discrepancies from what your use to hear. There are some foods that are traditionally known to be bad for your teeth, but can be fine for your braces. The opposite can also be true. Foods great for your teeth can be terrible for your braces.
Therefore, when you go through this list you’ll see some foods that your not use to a dentist saying is okay to eat.
Non Braces-Friendly Middle School Breakfast Options in Alpharetta & Johns Creek
When talking about food, it’s always easier to talk about what foods to avoid. When it comes to braces you want to make sure your avoid any foods that are particularly hard to bite down on or have too much of a crunch.
The repeated impact on hard foods can cause brackets or wires to come undone. Therefore, you’ll want to avoid:
Assorted Cereals with Golden Grahams Cereal Bar: When you have braces you want to avoid hard foods and sticky foods. In this case, both foods offered are not conducive for those who have braces. The assorted cereals can snap the wires of your braces if they are too hard. In addition, many cereal bars are coated with sugar and therefore become sticky and sometimes become chewy. Sticky foods can get stuck in between your teeth and braces or they can start pulling and tugging on your appliances.
Sausage Breakfast Bagel: Hard foods that you have to tug on are not good for your braces. Bagels, which can often be a very tough bread can be terrible for your braces. If cold and chewy, your teeth will do a lot of tugging and risk jostling wires or brackets. If the bagel is toasted, sometimes bagels can be particularly hard and crisp which can cause a large impact on your brackets when biting down.
Assorted Fresh Fruits: Now you might be a little confused that we added this. Well there’s a reason why we italicized this one. Fruit is something that everyone should be eating more of. However, we are talking about braces and not all fruits are great for braces. The fruits can change from day to day for the breakfast options and so this is where we can’t be exact with what you cannot eat. The best we can do is tell you fruits and vegetables that you may want to avoid. If the fruits provided are whole apples, carrots, celery or any other fruits that are particularly hard, you’ll want to avoid. If you do want to eat these fruits, they should be cut into smaller pieces. However, if they are not cut up, when your teeth dig into these fruits and vegetables, the impact will risk jostling your brackets and wires.
When looking over the middle school breakfast menus there isn’t an overload of dangers, however lookout for the foods above. And as another reminder, you want to avoid anything overly hard, chewy or tough.
Braces Friendly Middle School Breakfast Options in Alpharetta & Johns Creek
Now that we got all the food you can’t eat out of the way, let’s talk about all the foods you can eat! When it comes to braces, the softer the food the better. This is because you don’t want anything to jeopardize the brackets or wires in your mouth. Doing so will cause the need for repairs, extra visits to the office and at worst, elongating the time needed for the orthodontic treatment.
Smoothie with Blueberry Muffin: Smoothies are always a great option because they bring the nutritional benefits of fruit, without the need to bite down on a fruit. Blueberry muffins are particularly soft pastry and are easily chewed and digested by your teeth.
Yogurt (just hold the granola & cereal): Yogurt is always a great option. It is known to be a food that actually can strengthen your teeth’s enamel, but also has no risk for your braces. It is incredibly smooth and something that you definitely can enjoy with braces. Beware of granola and cereals that come with yogurt. These can be very hard and harm your braces.
Cheesy Eggs with Grits: Though cheese can make things sticky, both eggs and grits are soft foods that are easy to eat. Grits, oatmeal and mash potatoes are all foods recommended for sore mouths after braces and in this case, it is always a great option for breakfast.
Mini Pancakes: Mini pancakes are a great option as well because as we know, everyone loves soft, fluffy pancakes. Be mindful that if the pancakes are cold then you don’t want to be tugging on them with your teeth. The mini pancakes are already, well mini and you should be able to eat each mini pancake whole, however if this isn’t possible you a fork and knife. And as always, be careful with the syrup!
The key as we mentioned above is to find foods that are soft. Anytime you have to really tug on a food while eating it, is an automatic sign that you should not be eating foods. Also, what is hard about food is that sometimes the way it is prepared or even the temperature of the food can cause major differences in texture, taste and quality. Some foods that are extremely soft when hot can be hard as bricks when cold, like biscuits. When you’re deciding, be mindful of these factors and pick those foods that are softer.
Braces Friendly Middle School Lunches in Alpharetta & Johns Creek
The lunch options for the middle schools are much more expansive and have way more options. In addition, a much higher number of students eat school lunches as opposed to breakfast.
Non Braces Friendly Middle School Lunch Options in Alpharetta & Johns Creek
Lunch options you’ll want to avoid if you have braces include:
White Queso & Tex Mex Nachos: These nachos only are available a couple days of the month and we wanted to highlight them specifically because nachos are particularly hard on your teeth and braces. By biting down at the wrong angle, you can create an awkward angle with your wires and chips and start dislodging the wires.
Soft Pretzel with Cheese Dip: Pretzels are something you always want to be careful of. When hot, they are still tough and often have to be tugged on with your teeth to eat. When cooling down, pretzels can be very tough to bite into and make it really difficult to rip apart when eating.
Baby Carrots: We mentioned this above, but you’ll want to avoid eating whole carrots while you have braces. Carrots are a particularly hard food and require quite a bit of force from your teeth before they snap.
Pizza: Okay, before you freak out, know that you can still eat pizza. There is just some considerations we want you to be aware of. Pizza is fine, however, what can be the problem is the crust. Pizza crusts can be very tough or very hard to pull apart, requiring your teeth to tug on the crust. This is one of those cases where if your going to eat pizza, skip the crust.
Fresh Deli Subs: This is one we also want to italicize because not all sandwiches are bad, however there is a lot of gray area that you want to be aware of. The bread used for the sandwich is very important. Some bread is very tough, like baguettes, and can really tug at your teeth. Some breads are soft and don’t cause any concern. If possible, it’s good to cut sandwiches into pieces so that you don’t have to rely too much on your teeth.
Whatever you are eating, you want to be sure that you are not eating something that involves too much force or work from your teeth. Therefore any foods that require mouthfuls, like burritos or sandwiches, you’ll want to be careful. Slow down, get a fork and knife and cut into pieces so that you can lessen the workload for your teeth.
Braces Friendly Middle School Lunch Options in Alpharetta & Johns Creek
When we reviewed the school lunches for Fulton County, we were pretty happy to see that there are many options available that you can eat, even with braces.
Veggie Lasagna & Meatball Spaghetti: Pasta is a great option for people with braces. Pasta has so many varieties and options that are delicious. Throughout the month the schools provide different options of pasta that you can partake in. These include Italian Pasta Bake, Chicken Alfredo and many other of the pasta options. Be careful with the breadsticks that come with them and cut them into smaller pieces if they require too much tugging of the teeth.
Chicken Nuggets and Tenders: Chicken nuggets and tenders appear a couple of time on the menu and it’s something that you can definitely eat. Many chicken nuggets are particularly soft to eat and should not cause any issues with your teeth.
Burger Sliders: Sliders from school lunches tend to be very soft and should be fine to eat. Like the sandwiches just be mindful if you feel that the bread or the meat are particularly hard to tug on with your teeth, however in most cases we’ve seen that the burger sliders aren’t hard to eat at all and don’t usually cause any issue with the braces.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Classic Chili: Any soup or chili is fine to consume. Soups and chili are obviously in liquid form so they don’t necessitate any need to chew and if there are chunks of meat or vegetables, they usually have been soaked down by the soup or chili and softened. With the soup crackers and in this case, Cheez-Its, are provided. It’s best to soak them or crush them into the soup.
Mini Cheese Calzone: Calzones are as close to pizza as you can get, however in this case they are okay for your braces. Most calzones have a very soft outside layer and therefore there is no hard or tough crust to chew on.
Chef Selection Salad: Salads are always a healthy option and one that also is compatible with braces. Leafy greens, lettuce, tomatoes and other traditional salad ingredients are all relatively soft for your teeth. You’ll unfortunately have to skip the croutons as these are often very hard and very crunchy.
Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes is the quintessential food for people who get braces. The school offers mashed potatoes only once, however as a braces guide, we just had to make sure to include it to the list.
As you can see there are many options that you can still enjoy with braces. We were surprised to see the amount of variety and options available.
Like we mentioned above, if your not sure, always remember to avoid:
These are the physical characteristics that you want to avoid and can damage your braces if ignored.
Contacting Your Local Schools for More Information
Like we mentioned above, sometimes food really is just different up close and personal. The way its prepared or if it’s hot or cold can make a food that’s ordinarily soft and okay for braces, tough as a brick and something to avoid.
When we looked at each school’s food information, they all direct you to the same page that has the school menus that you see above. However, if you are a parent and you’d like an exact idea of what the food looks like, we have provided contact information below:
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
For our middle school patients, we hope that this guide makes it easier for you to know what food to pick when your at school. What we don’t want to happen is for wires or brackets to break, causing uncomfort in your mouth.
We’ll do our best to update this as the menu changes and if there are any foods that we forgot or that you have a specific question about, please leave us a comment below!