Foods To Avoid While Wearing Braces

The day you get your braces can be a pretty exciting day. Finally, you are on your way to achieving a bright, white, straight smile you can proudly show off. One day not long from now, you will look at yourself in the mirror and be so glad you invested the time and energy to achieve healthier, straighter and more attractive teeth. In this article, get an in-depth look at foods to avoid while wearing braces. Let’s get cracking.



Eat or not to eat

The in-between period when you are having your braces put on and then regularly adjusted, you will need to make some short-term sacrifices in order to be sure you get the best possible results. One of those sacrifices comes in the form of the foods you choose to eat….or not.


Can I Eat Sticky Foods with Braces?

Sticky foods can be so tasty, but for your braces, they are no threat at all. Sticky foods can not only get stuck in your orthodontia, but they can also pull your brackets and wires out of alignment or clean off your teeth.

Sticky foods include these items and similar others:

  • Gummy candies.
  • Caramel or toffee candies.
  • Fruit rollups.
  • Saltwater (or any kind of) taffy.
  • Gum (even sugar-free).

Can I Eat Hard Foods with Braces?

While sticky foods’ main impact is to bend or detach your orthodontia, hard foods can break them apart or even crack your teeth. Eating very hard foods can also weaken the structure of your teeth, cause hairline fractures and fissures in the teeth and erode your enamel (the protective outer coating of your teeth).

Hard foods include these items and similar others:

  • Ice cubes.
  • Raw carrots, apples, corn on the cob.
  • Hard candies.
  • Hard pretzels.
  • Hard rolls and bread.
  • Thick chips, crackers, cookies.
  • Taco shells.
  • Brittle candy.
  • Nuts of all kinds.
  • Popcorn.
  • Any meat that is still on the bone (chicken legs/wings, ribs, et al).


Can I Eat Very Chewy Foods with Braces?

Chewy foods can seem so innocent at first. Take a bagel smeared with butter or cream cheese – it sure looks like it would pose no big problem for your orthodontia-clad teeth. But bite into that bagel and begin to chew….and chew….and chew….and you will soon learn what orthodontists everywhere already know.

Bagels can wreak havoc with braces. So can these other chewy foods:

  • Pizza crust.
  • Soft pretzels.
  • Licorice.
  • Pickles.
  • Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, et al).
  • Beef jerky and other jerky-type treats.
  • Tortillas (corn or flour).


Can I Eat Super Sugary Foods with Braces?

Sugary foods are never going to be an orthodontist’s favorite choice, but when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, your teeth are especially vulnerable to their cavity-causing potential.

This is because it is simply harder to floss and brush your teeth when you have braces on. So you are at risk of missing areas coated in sugar that can then begin to give in to decay.

Also, many sugar foods such as colas and candies are also loaded with artificial colors that can stain your teeth. Here again, due to the added challenges of keeping your teeth clean, the stain may get hidden and have time to settle in and cause deeper discoloration of your teeth.

Super sugary foods include these items and similar others:

  • Sodas and fruit juices.
  • Powdered drinks and sport drinks.
  • Candies and gum.
  • Ice cream and frozen treats like popsicles.
  • Cookies and cakes.
  • Pies.


What other Foods Should I not eat with Braces?

Of course, foods are not the only items that pose a risk to your carefully placed orthodontia. For example, you may not even realize that certain habits you have could damage or bend your braces.

Here is an example of some habits you will need to give up while wearing braces:

  • Biting your fingernails.
  • Chewing on pen clips.
  • Biting down on or chewing on erasers.
  • Chewing on ice (even small chips) or sucking on ice cubes.


How to Handle Difficult Foods During Special Events

Sometimes you may be faced with a situation where your food selection is limited and not ideal for people who are wearing braces. In these cases, there are some things you can do to adjust so you don’t have to starve!

Here are some ideas for how to eat less ideal foods:

  • Cut up hard or very chewy foods into small bite-size pieces first, then eat one at a time slowly and carefully.
  • Soak very hard foods in water or milk so they soften up before you eat them.
  • Dilute very sugar drinks with some water to cut the sugar content in half.
  • Spread nut butter or toppings very thinly on a slice of bread or crudites.
  • Take smaller portions of sugary treats like ice cream and cake.
  • Break up thick, crunchy crackers, chips or cookies into smaller bits.
  • Take fresh corn off the cob or meat off the bone before eating it.
  • Eat the pizza toppings but avoid the hard crust.

There may also be times when you just have to decline a certain food item, explaining that you are under orders from your orthodontist to avoid it until after your braces come off.

Schedule an Orthodontic Examination

In Marin County, Calif., you can visit Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics to have an examination and treatment from these professionals:

• Dr. Jasmine Gorton
• Dr. Bill Schmohl
• Dr. Jeff Nichelini

An orthodontist will discuss orthodontic options with you to repair problems such as crowded teeth, crossbites or overbites. Depending on your malocclusions, you can wear one of these devices:

• Retainers
• Invisalign
• WildSmiles
• Braces with colors
• Traditional or Damon Clear



We also offer WowSmiles and Acceledent options to our orthodontic patients. Schedule an appointment by calling 415-459-8006 today.

Foods To Avoid While Wearing Braces 2



Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 200 Larkspur CA 94939 Tel: (415)-459-8006

Foods To Avoid While Wearing Braces