You know what they all say: abs are made in the kitchen.

So when your orthodontist told you to go crazy on the mashed potatoes and milkshakes after your first appointment after getting braces or Invisalign, you probably weren’t too excited about all those carbs. (Side note: you have much more self-control than we do. Who could say no to mashed potatoes and milkshakes?!)

As someone who regularly hits the gym and eats well, you might be a little worried about how you are going to maintain your diet once you get your braces or Invisalign treatment started. You know about all the things you shouldn’t be eating when you have braces in, and you even looked into the soft-food meal prep ideas. But in reality, that they may not fit your current lifestyle. And, with your new braces or Invisalign treatment, you’re also going to need to make sure your food choices also fit the guidelines for eating with braces.  

If you are looking for low-sugar, low-carb, and high protein ideas that won’t hurt your teeth, look no further. Here is a breakdown of ingredients to include in your weekly meal prep to maintain your healthy diet!

Breakfast

Load it up on all the eggs! They are soft on your teeth, can be prepared multiple ways, and they are packin’ it with protein. Oatmeal is also a great breakfast option since it is lower in carbs than most other options and much healthier than cereal. If you prefer to start your day with a healthy smoothie, pack in the fruits and add some peanut butter in for extra protein (and deliciousness). Even easier than that? A simple homemade yogurt parfait. All of these options are easy on your teeth, so your braces will thank you.

What you want to avoid are cereal and granola – they are especially sneaky about the amounts of sugar in each serving, and they may not keep you feeling full for very long. Granola can sometimes be covered in sugar or honey, and it can be hard on your teeth if it is tough to bite into. This will be difficult to eat if you just had your braces tightened. You’ll also want to avoid things like pancakes, bacon, sausage, and other traditional breakfast foods – or enjoy them sparingly.

Afternoon Snack

For a quick bite between meals, it’s easy to get sidetracked and pick up a bag of chips. But for the sake of your abs, you must resist the urge! It shouldn’t be too difficult to choose healthy options for snack time, but there are temptations all around. The key is to enjoy something that tastes good and will fill you up quickly. And if you have Invisalign, you don’t want to spend too much time with your trays out – so you have to eat it quickly!

While you may want to avoid nuts and trail mix while you have braces or Invisalign, other options to get those same health benefits are to have nut butter (no, we did not say “nutter butters”), like peanut butter or almond butter. Spread it onto some soft, whole grain bread and enjoy.

Lunch/Dinner

Your options for lunches and dinners may be similar. During both of these mealtimes, you’ll want to swap red meats for more lean options like chicken, turkey, and fish. Other legumes, beans and vegetables are great ingredients for a healthy salad or bowl, and are filled with protein, fiber, folate, and iron.

For lunches and dinners, swap out rice for quinoa, couscous, and other healthier grain-based options. These alternatives are not only healthy but also easier on the teeth. They can be mixed into soup or combined with other ingredients for a quick salad. And if you love spaghetti as much as we do, your local grocery store may have low-carb alternatives for pasta.

When it comes to your diet, we know you are all unique in your own special way, so we’re not going to try and satisfy all of you all at once. But whether you’re doing the paleo diet, the carb-cutting diet, or the “eliminate all delicious things” diet, the gist is that you are looking to reduce the amount of less-than-healthy items on your plate while also protecting your teeth.

There’s no doubt that getting Invisalign, braces, or any other orthodontic treatment will result in some changes to your lifestyle. But with the help of your friends at Orthodontics LA in Glendale and Encino, you can make the adjustment smoother than peanut butter.