Obviously, perfecting smiles tops the list of our favorite things here at 914 Orthodontics but food is pretty high up there too. How could it not be as long as pasta and tacos exist? That’s why we completely understand why our Sleepy Hollow, NY braces patients want to know what foods are safe to eat with braces almost as soon as we start discussing treatment options. The good news is, most of your beloved meals and snacks are perfectly fine with just a few exceptions. We’ll be covering the basics of what to eat with braces and Invisalign, as well as recommending the best braces-friendly food in Sleepy Hollow and the surrounding areas.
Braces and Food
Orthodontic treatment won’t leave you hungry or drooling with envy while you watch your friends chow down. However, there are some foods to avoid with braces, namely anything extremely sticky (taffy, Starburst, gum, caramels, Tootsie Rolls) hard (pizza crust, hard rolls, Doritos, hard taco shells, ice), chewy (licorice, gummy candy, bagels) or likely to get caught in your hardware and cause inflammation (e.g., popcorn and nuts). Yet, it’s really less about what to eat and more about how to eat with braces on. Don’t bite or tear into food with your front teeth and instead chew with your back teeth and cut or break things like chewy meat, rolls, bread and raw apples and carrots into bite-sized pieces and take corn off the cob. Eating food that will damage your hardware could potentially prolong your treatment. Keep in mind, any small sacrifices you have to make will seem completely worth it when you see your gorgeous new smile.
When you first get your braces put on and after adjustments, your teeth might be slightly sensitive for a day or two. While there are zero food restrictions with Invisalign since you take the aligners out to eat, you’ll experience the same sensitivity when you pop in a new a set of aligners. In these instances, cold drinks and treats and soft foods will be your best friends. Smoothies, yogurt, mashed potatoes, soup, ice water, popsicles, soft meats, steamed vegetables, bananas, soft taco shells, applesauce, and pasta are all great choices.
What Type of Restaurants Can I Eat at With Braces?
If you’re wondering where to eat with braces on, the answer is pretty much anywhere. Unless you’re headed to a taffy shop, there aren’t too many places without at least a few braces-friendly choices. Of course, some establishments are better than others. Thankfully, the best restaurants in Westchester County, NY are full of deliciousness for people in the midst of orthodontic treatment.
Where to Eat Out With Braces on in Sleepy Hollow, NY (and Nearby)
- Ambar Restaurant – 194 Beekman Avenue, Sleepy Hollow – Don’t let the unassuming, easy-to-miss location fool you, this cute little Sleepy Hollow Dominican restaurant is fantastic and affordable. The arroz con habichuelas (rice and beans), sancocho (Dominican-style soup) and the pollo guisado (chicken stew) are easy on the mouth and packed with flavor.
- Penny Lick Ice Cream Company – 580 Warburton Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson – Dr. Kothari is a dental specialist so we do have to say, try to enjoy sweets in moderation and make sure you brush afterwards to avoid tooth decay. With that out of the way, ice cream is perfect for the occasional indulgence when you have braces. Come on, it’s soft and cold! Penny Lick serves all natural, small-batch ice cream with ingredients from the Hudson Valley. The milk chocolate and Earl Grey flavors are two of our favorites.
- La Chinita Poblana – 61 Main Street, Irvington – Is it okay to eat tacos with braces? Yes! Even though hard taco shells are a food to avoid when you’re in orthodontic treatment, you can go to town on soft shells. If you’re searching for some good ones, look no further than La Chinita Poblana, an Irvington Mexican restaurant. The chorizo tacos and vegetable tacos are amazing as is anything with their mole sauce on it.
- Santorini–175 Valley Street, Sleep Hollow – Santorini Greek Restaurant in Sleepy Hollow has exceptional Mediterranean food and was even featured in an article in the New York Times where it was rated “very good.” With friendly service, plenty of healthy and vegetarian items and soft foods galore, it’s a great spot for the whole family. The hummus, moussaka and falafel platter are all braces-friendly and delicious.
- Bistro 12 – 12 N. Main Street, Tarrytown – Bistro 12 is geared more towards adults but a lot of our braces and Invisalign patients are grown-ups and they deserve a treat too. This hybrid Italian, French and Portuguese restaurant in Tarrytown is a true fusion of Mediterranean flavors. Don’t miss the risotto with mushrooms, ravioli or the chicken francese (cut into bite-sized pieces, of course). Be sure you top your meal off with their chocolate mousse.
- Ardsley Diner – 731 Sawmill River Road, Ardsley – For braces-friendly food in Ardsley, the Ardsley Diner is the place to go. Their breakfast menu is top-notch. The garden omelette will give you a dose of protein and veggies with minimal chewing. If you prefer a sweeter morning meal, opt for the soft and fluffy red velvet or berry pancakes.
- Bridge View Tavern – 226 Beekman Avenue, Sleepy Hollow – The Bridge View Tavern is another Sleepy Hollow, NY restaurant that’s received attention from the New York Times. The tavern serves up comfort food with a view of the Tappen Zee Bridge. If you’re wearing braces or you’ve just switched to a new Invisalign tray, we’d recommend the veggie chili, mac and cheese or the Dr. Pepper braised boneless short ribs. Remember, don’t bite into the ribs with your front teeth but considering how tender they are, taking the meat off the bone definitely won’t be a problem.
- PK Blendz – 1002 Main Street, Peekskill – We were excited when this Peekskill juice bar set up shop because smoothies and juice are brimming with nutrients and super soothing for sensitive teeth. The strawberry oats smoothie could be one of the best smoothies in West Chester County, seriously. It has almond milk, oats, strawberries, bananas, agave and vanilla. As far as juices, we like the “Energizer” and the “Brainiac.”
- Osaka – 134 Wildey Street, Tarrytown – Osaka is a Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar and sushi is an ideal braces food. It’s soft, healthy and scrumptious. Osaka’s California roll, sweet potato roll and spicy tuna roll are excellent. Round out your meal with some miso soup.
- Mancora – 180 Valley Street, Sleepy Hollow – Mancora offers fresh, tasty Peruvian food in Sleepy Hollow. It’s casual and won’t break the bank. For sensitive teeth, you can’t go wrong with the ceviche de pescado, chaufa de vegetales (vegetable fried rice) or the arroz con mariscos (Peruvian-style paella).