Now that we’re well into September, it’s time to put away the swimsuits and popsicles of summer. On the bright side, with autumn comes some of the most anticipated food and flavors of the year. Pumpkin spice drinks have already made their comeback and turkeys are being plumped for the upcoming holidays as we speak. 

To help you make the best of this season, we’ve worked with our orthodontist in Wichita to create a list of our favorite (and least favorite) fall foods to date. Most importantly, we’ve made sure all our picks are 100% braces-friendly!

The Cream of the Crop

Mashed potatoes

Technically, you can have great mashed potatoes year round, but the best time to enjoy it is now. Whip up some fluffy potatoes with salt, butter, and garlic for a delicious, braces-friendly side. Mashed potatoes are especially perfect for those sensitive days after you’ve just gotten your braces adjusted and your teeth are feelings particularly sore. 

Squash soup

Gourds galore! We love all types of squash and we love them in all forms. Squash soup is a creamy, delicious, braces-friendly way to enjoy the delicious vegetables.

Apple Pie

There’s nothing more American than a slice of homemade apple pie. If you can’t bite into crunchy apples because of your braces, help yourself to a slice of apple pie with ice cream instead. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed! 

Since the apples are soft from baking, they won’t damage your braces. Just make sure to brush and floss after eating. Apples naturally have a lot of fructose, but in a pie, they have double the sugar. Brushing after eating apple pie will help prevent cavities. 

Cranberry sauce

While Thanksgiving is a few months away, cranberry sauce is a great condiment to enjoy any time. Plus, cranberries are harvested starting mid-September, so right now is the perfect time to get yourself started. While cranberry sauces poses no threat to your braces, it is deeply pigmented. Be careful when you eat it or you might accidentally stain your clothes and teeth! 

Cornbread

Cornbread technically made with cornmeal, not corn. Still, it’s a fall staple that pairs perfectly with a hot soup during the colder months. It’s also very soft on the braces, so you can enjoy as much as you want!  

The Scourge of the Crop

Candied/Caramel Apples

This ones a no-brainer! Apples are already super crunchy as they are, but to dip them in sticky, sugary candy or caramel coating? You’ll give your orthodontist a heart attack! If the apples don’t crack a bracket, the sugary sauce coating it will certainly get stuck in your braces. Steer clear of the candied/caramel apples this year and opt for applesauce instead. 

Pumpkin Seeds

Yes, roasted pumpkin seeds are an awesome, healthy snack full of protein, zinc, and fiber, but they’re also super hard, chewy, and bad for braces. This snack may not be ideal for your braces in its natural form, but there is a way for you to enjoy it. By removing the hull (shell) and grinding the seeds into a powder, you can create your own superfood protein powder to add to smoothies! 

Corn 

When we say corn, we literally mean anything with corn in its name – popcorn, corn nuts, corn on the cob, candy corn, etc. The only exceptions would probably be cornbread (mentioned above) and extremely, extremely soggy corn flakes. Most of the corn-related foods mentioned are just too crunchy for braces. They could easily break a bracket or get stuck in your teeth. Candy corn is obviously not actually corn, but it is full of cavity-inducing sugar. 

Maple Syrup 

Maple syrup is a bad for teeth in general, but it can be especially dangerous when you have braces. All the brackets and wires create tons of space for sugar to get stuck in and create cavities. If you must, have a drizzle of maple syrup on your pancakes but no more than that! And don’t even think about having a maple syrup bar! 

Pecan Pie

Most pies are braces-friendly, but pecan pie is an exception. The nuts are too crunchy for braces. Try pumpkin, banana cream, or chocolate silk pie instead. These are all way easier on the braces than hard, crunchy pecans. 

Let us know what your favorite braces-friendly dishes this fall are. And regardless of what you eat, always remember to brush and floss after! You’ll be thanking us for that advice when the braces come off. 

Dr. Gorantla is an orthodontist in Wichita, KS, who works with patients of all ages. He loves seeing his patients achieve beautiful, confident smiles. Give us a call at Smiles Ortho if you’re interested in getting braces yourself!