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Foods to Avoid with Braces to Keep Your Treatment on Track

If you’ve recently received braces, you may be learning all about the new tips and restrictions for life during orthodontic treatment. Fortunately, the restrictions are minimal, and they’re all designed to help you achieve the best outcome with your braces in the least amount of time! One of these restrictions is learning about foods to avoid with braces and why.

Dr. Andy is here to help you know what foods to pass on so you can finish your treatment and enjoy your new smile!

The Most Important Foods to Avoid with Braces

There are several categories of food to avoid with braces and each one has their own risks and reasons that make them bad for you during orthodontic treatment. Here are the main foods to avoid and why:

Hard & Crunchy Foods

When it comes to caring for your braces, one of the most important things is to avoid complications that might require you to go back to the orthodontist. This includes playing with your braces or eating foods that might affect the parts that make your braces function properly!

Hard or crunchy foods can cause all sorts of issues with the wires and brackets in your mouth. Especially hard candies, where you have a tendency to roll them around in your mouth, can pop off brackets or bend wires during treatment. So make sure to avoid foods during orthodontic treatment such as:

  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Hard Candy
  • Crunchy Taco Shells
  • Corn Chips

This list isn’t exhaustive, and if you’re on the fence about a food, you can always reach out to us for guidance! While we’re always glad to see our patients, we understand you have busy schedules, so we don’t want you to have to come in more often than is necessary to provide you with the best treatment possible!

Sticky or Chewy Foods

Another category of food that commonly causes problems for braces are foods that have you chewing a lot. This can be sticky substances or foods that are simply thick and bready. The risk with these foods is that they can bend wires or also even pop off your brackets as you work through the tougher effort of chewing them into safe-to-swallow pieces.

Sticky candy is especially problematic, because it will physically pull at your brackets as you eat it. Some examples of food in this category are:

  • Taffy
  • Gummy Candies
  • Bagels
  • Beef Jerky
  • Soft Pretzels
  • Gum
  • Thick Pizza Crusts

Is It True You Shouldn’t Chew on Ice with Braces?

Yes! While you may think of ice as harmless, it’s harder and crunchier than most foods you would otherwise eat. This makes it just as problematic as other hard foods for your brackets and wires.

In fact, chewing on ice is bad for your teeth even if you don’t have braces! Ice cubes are generally pretty tough to break through, which puts a lot of pressure on your teeth. The harder the ice, the most likely you are to do damage to your teeth like cracking or chipping them.

There’s nothing wrong with thin bits of ice, but if it’s in chips or cubes, you should avoid chewing on it whether you have braces or not.

Avoid biting into hard foods with your front teeth. You can still enjoy these types of foods by simply cutting them into small pieces and chewing with your back teeth. It’s also important to brush your teeth after every meal.

Foods That Are Okay to Eat with Braces

Although there are foods to avoid with braces, soft foods are much easier on the hardware in your mouth. Be sure that what you’re eating constitutes a healthy, nutritious diet! Here are some examples of foods that are okay to eat:

  • Bananas
  • Cheese
  • Applesauce
  • Pasta (mac and cheese!)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Tuna
  • Meatloaf
  • Melons
  • Yogurt

Cooking Your Vegetables

You may be wondering what the deal is with vegetables. After all, they’re often hard and crunchy like carrots. You can still eat them – the one caveat is that you should be cooking them first. Cooked vegetables are generally softer and easier to eat than their raw state. But even with these foods, you should consider cutting them into smaller, bite-sized pieces to avoid any potential issue.


Contact Dr. Andy Today!

Don’t let anything sidetrack you on the road to a healthy, attractive smile. If you have questions or concerns about foods to avoid with braces, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andy!

Phone: (440) 842-8015


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