Eating with Braces – Are There Foods to Avoid?

food to avoid with braces

When you have braces, certain foods can cause problems.

Although traditional braces are made from metal, the brackets are thin, and the wires are fine. Neither holds up well to extreme stress, and they can break.

Braces are also full of nooks and crannies that provide a place for food particles to collect. Here is some food to avoid with braces to ensure that both you and your braces stay healthy.

Limit Sugars

Sugar is number one on the list of tooth decay causes. An occasional treat is one thing; daily sugar consumption is another.

Don’t forget that sugar can be disguised in many prepared foods where you wouldn’t expect it, so always read labels with care. Soft drinks are a double whammy because they contain sugar and acids that damage tooth enamel.

Chewy Foods

Chewy foods are typically the kind of food that clings to braces or leaves a film on the teeth that is difficult to clean off. Examples include toffee, hard rolls and chewy lollies.

Crunchy Foods

There are several problems with crunchy foods. They can break braces and wires, and often have sharp edges, which can cut your gums.

These foods may become trapped between a wire or bracket and be very difficult to remove. Avoid popcorn and corn chips, as they’re prone to getting caught in braces.

Sticky Foods

Sticky foods adhere to your braces, which brings them into contact with the tooth surface for a long time. Many sticky foods, like caramels or toffee, are also high in sugar.

The combination of adherent qualities and high sugar content means a higher risk of tooth decay. Chewing gum can also be a problem as it can become trapped in the wires or brackets.

Hard Foods

Like crunchy foods, hard foods increase the risk of breaking a wire or bracket. In fact, hard foods may even cause a tooth to crack, chip or break.

Nuts should be off the menu when you have braces. Although you can have ice in your drinks, don’t chew the ice cubes.

Foods You Bite Off

Some foods require that you bite into them and literally cut them with your front teeth (incisors). Although you can eat things like apples and carrots, you should cut them into smaller pieces first.

Cut corn off the cob before eating. Take it from us. You can’t eat it off the cob because your teeth can’t get close enough to bite off the corn (if you try, you’ll end up with a lot of corn in your braces!)

Good oral hygiene and proper attention to diet can help prevent problems with braces.

Even if you choose removable aligners like Invisalign, you should still eat properly for your oral and overall health. Please contact us for questions.


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