It’s pretty easy to argue that Italy has exported some of the best food in the world. The staple of nearly every dish is pasta – in all its wonderful shapes and sizes. But can you eat pasta with braces safely?
Can You Eat Pasta With Braces?
Pasta is actually a great food to eat with braces. There are a tonne of different shapes and variations of Italian pasta, and basically every one can be part of a great braces meal. This is because Pasta becomes soft when boiled – making it easy to chew.
Most pasta also comes in nice bite-sized pieces you can easily avoid the front teeth with. With spaghetti, fettuccine, tagliatelle, and other long-stranded pasta you can cut it up or just scoop up a little bit.
What Pasta Can You Eat With Braces?
You can eat any type of pasta with braces as long as it’s cooked. Even when pasta is cooked “al dente” – which means “to the tooth”, or still firm to the bite – it’s still soft enough to eat safely and avoid bending wires or breaking brackets.
Most pasta is boiled and super soft but you can also adjust the cooking time to be a little longer. This is a good idea if your teeth are sensitive after just getting braces, having a wire change, or getting new elastics.
Baked pasta is also still soft enough to eat with braces. Generally, baked pasta dishes require that the pasta is part-boiled before baking. A bit of a crisp bite with baked pasta is still fine but might be a bit tougher to chew easily.
Avoid very dry baked pasta that needs a hard bite. Pasta can dry out if eaten as leftovers. If this is the case, a couple of minutes in the microwave should soften the pasta enough. Even the interesting spaghetti cake should still be safe to eat with braces!
How To Eat Pasta With Braces?
It’s fairly easy to eat most pasta with braces, just follow these simple guidelines
Eating Pasta With Braces Tip #1
Take small bites and chew with your back teeth to avoid brackets and wires. Cut up spaghetti, vermicelli, fettuccini, linguini, and other long pasta shapes to avoid annoying tangles
Eating Pasta With Braces Tip #2
After eating the pasta, rinse your mouth with water to clear debris. You should then try to brush and floss 30 to 60 minutes later – not immediately after. A water flosser is an excellent tool for removing food from braces. This goes for all food eaten while you have braces. Bits getting trapped next to your teeth can end up leading to plaque and cavities.
Which Pasta Is Best With Braces?
This is our top list of best pasta for braces, based on having a small size, nice softness, being non-staining, and not too chewy and sticky. However, most pasta is perfectly safe to eat with braces and this list isn’t gospel.
- Spaghetti Bolognese – The sauce makes the spaghetti nice and soft, and you can cut the long strands up easily
- Baked Ziti (Ziti, Penne, or any tube pasta works) – Soft, tasty, filling, and easy to make enough to last a few days. A classic!
- Ravioli – Stuffed pasta can be made at home or brought fresh, and eaten with a sauce or without
- Macaroni – Mac and cheese is a homely and easy to make crowd-pleaser that’s soft and easy to eat with braces
- Rigatoni – Stuffed rigatoni is an indulgent treat but they also go well with a simple tomato sauce
- Lasagna – Sumptuous and filling. Every family has it’s own recipe, though you may need to fight your grandma for it
- Fettucine – Fettucine Alfredo is an indulgent, creamy treat. Spin that fork up with a perfect little mouthful that’s easy to bite
- Farfalle – Our go-to pasta to eat with pesto, paired with peas and courgette (zucchini)
You can even finish off your Italian meal with a classic Italian dessert – gelato! Read more – Can You Eat Ice Cream + Gelato With Braces?
Can You Eat Garlic Bread With Braces?
The timeless pasta side dish might not be truly “Italian” but it’s popular around the world – especially in America. We normally advise staying away from hard, crusty bread while wearing braces because of the strong chance you’ll bend a wire when eating it.
That being said – it’s still possible to eat garlic bread with braces. Don’t overcook the bread so it’s completely hard, and break it up into small bits instead of tearing it up with your teeth. Instead, pop the chunks to the back of your mouth.
The more buttery and soft fresh-from-the-oven garlic bread is best. Dipping small chunks of garlic bread in the pasta sauce also helps soften it up so you don’t have to miss out on garlic bread while wearing braces!
Can You Eat Spaghetti With Braces?
Spaghetti is a great choice to eat while wearing braces. Whether it’s the classic spaghetti carbonara, spaghetti bolognese, spaghetti with meatballs, or any of the many ways the pasta can be cooked. Eating spaghetti with braces can be annoying as the strands get stuck in the braces and make it hard to swallow properly.
While eating any food with braces, the idea is to not cut or chew with the front teeth or any teeth that have brackets on. If you cut up the spaghetti on your plate or before serving, it’ll be easier to do this with. You don’t have to, it just might be less annoying.
Do you also want to enjoy other wheat-based long food with braces? Is there really any difference between spaghetti and noodles? Find out now!
– Read Can You Eat Noodles With Braces?
Can You Eat Macaroni With Braces?
Yes, you can eat macaroni with braces in many of the ways it’s used. Whether it’s part of a bake, casserole, or even a pudding, macaroni is a great pasta for braces to have in your cupboard. Both kids and adults love the simple shape and versatility for a soft bite or crunch.
You can eat macaroni cheese with braces too. Also known as mac and cheese, macaroni pie, or baked macaroni – this modern classic is a popular pasta dish to eat while wearing braces. We’ve done a full article on Can You Eat Mac And Cheese With Braces? if you need the full low down.
Can You Eat Pesto With Braces?
Pesto dishes are one of my all-time favorites, so you’ll be as I was to know that you can eat pesto with braces. In fact, soft-cooked pasta (you choose your favorite shape) with pesto is a great braces recipe for any painful days.
Watch out if you have clear power chains or rubber elastics. Check your pesto, if it has artificial coloring – especially for red/tomato pestos – then this might end up staining the elastics.
Pesto can also be quite “bitty”, and you might find little pieces of basial or pine nuts stuck in hard-to-reach places. This isn’t a problem, just rinse your mouth out with water or use a good water flosser for braces to remove any tricky food debris.
Can You Eat Gnocchi With Braces?
Gnocchi is a cool little dough dumpling usually made with potatoes, flour, semolina, and sometimes egg or cheese. Gnocchi is safe and easy to eat with braces. They cook down nice and soft and have a fun texture.
Gnocchi can be quite sticky and gummy to eat but we don’t think it’s quite enough to cause any problems with braces.