Foods to Avoid Eating with Braces

When you have braces, it is important to take care of them and not break anything. When a part of your braces breaks, your teeth can stop moving and sometimes can even move the wrong way! It often takes a longer appointment to repair a broken appliance and get the teeth moving the right direction again. This results in a loss of treatment time. The end result is that loose or broken braces or appliances often mean you will need braces for a longer time. Fast treatment and a great smile are your rewards for following these guidelines.

Hard foods – Anything that is hard cannot be chewed with braces on. Remember, braces are fragile, and strong forces from hard foods will break them off. Damaged appliances will extend treatment time. Extended treatment time will increase the risk of cavities and stains on your teeth.

    Apples or Carrots (unless cooked or cut into small pieces)
    Ice – Do not chew on ice!
    Nuts
    Corn on the Cob
    Popcorn
    Hard Candy
    Peanut Brittle
    Bagels
    Jerky
    Hard Pretzels
    Pizza Crust
    Doritos, corn chips, hard tacos, cheetos, fritos and the like
    Hard rolls and bagels
    Raw carrots

Sticky foods – Braces can be pulled apart with sticky foods. Again, this could extend your treatment time.

    Taffy
    Caramels
    Gummy Bears
    Any sticky candy in general
    Gum

Anything high in sugar – Braces make it harder to keep your teeth clean. Sugar will feed the bacteria that cause cavities. If you do eat any foods high in sugar, brush your teeth immediately.

    Suckers
    Sour Patch Candy
    Any Candy

Acidic Foods – Acidic Foods can also cause permanent stains and damage to your teeth. Avoid acidic foods such as:

    Sodas (even diet sodas can be very acidic)
    Lemons and lemon juice

Other Precautions:
Do not bite through hard foods with your front teeth. This may loosen your front brackets
Do not chew on pens, pencils, or fingernails as this may break parts of your braces.
Remember to brush and floss your teeth to keep them strong and healthy.
If you experience a part of your braces that is loose or broken, you can call our office. You can also see our Orthodontic Emergencies section to learn how minor orthodontic problems may be handled at home.