10 Foods To Avoid With Braces

10 Foods To Avoid With Braces


Braces are an orthodontic appliance worn by patients of all ages. They consist of metal or ceramic brackets that attach to your teeth and use an archwire to connect the brackets. Braces can’t be removed while you eat, so it is important to be careful when you’re chewing and biting into food. In fact, some foods you shouldn’t eat at all during your treatment. Here are the top 10 foods to avoid with braces. 

  1. Gummy/chewy/hard candy. 

    Gummy candy such as gummy bears, licorice, gum drops, sour worms, and anything else that is chewy and sticky is best to avoid with braces. They not only get stuck in your brackets and wires, increasing your risk of tooth decay, they can also cause your brackets to come off and your wires to bend. This means you have to make emergency trips to your orthodontist to get your brackets put back on and your wires bent back into position. Broken braces can delay your treatment.

  2. Popcorn.

    Popcorn may seem harmless, but there are multiple ways that it can be problematic for braces. The kernels can get stuck in your brackets and also under your bands if you have them, and they are difficult to remove. They also irritate your gums when they are stuck between your brackets and gumline. And you should definitely avoid chewing on the unpopped kernels because those are hard enough to break brackets and wires.

  3. Nuts.

    Nuts of all kinds are too hard to eat while wearing braces. They can pop off brackets, bend wires, and get stuck in your braces. Even softer nuts like peanuts and cashews can damage your braces and be problematic.

  4. Ice.

    You should always avoid chewing on ice. It is hard enough to bend wires and cause brackets to pop off. Dentists recommend that everyone avoid chewing on ice, even those who are not undergoing orthodontic treatment, because it can damage teeth as well. It can also cause TMJ disorder from the excess pressure that chewing ice puts on your jaw.

  5. Pizza crust.

    Pizza crust can be extremely hard and crispy, meaning it is capable of breaking and bending braces. You should avoid eating the crust portion on the end of the pizza, but it is ok to eat the rest of the pizza in most cases.

  6. Crusty bread.

    Bread with a hard outer crust can damage your braces, such as italian bread, baguettes, ciabatta, bread sticks, and bagels. You can tear it into smaller bite size pieces to reduce the risk, but it could still cause problems.

  7. Pretzels.

    Pretzels come in many forms from large soft pretzels to small hard pretzels sticks. Large soft pretzels are safe if they are soft enough, but crunch snack pretzels can be too hard to safely eat with braces. Pretzel rods are especially risky as you have to bite pieces off.

  8. Corn chips.

    Corn chips of all kinds from tortilla chips to doritos can damage your braces. Simply biting into them can pop off brackets and bend wires. They also form hard balls as you chew that can get stuck under your archwire, bending it out of shape and potentially affecting your treatment.

  9. Gum.

    Gum is self-explanatory. Chewing gum easily gets stuck on braces and is difficult to remove.

  10. Certain fruits and vegetables.

    Crunchy fruits and vegetables need to be cut into bite size pieces to eat them, such as apples, celery, and carrots. It is best to avoid fruits with lots of seeds that can get stuck in your braces, such as raspberries and blackberries. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Braces

What is the best age to get braces?

Patients of all ages can braces from children to adults. The ideal age is typically somewhere between the ages of 11 and 14, during the adolescent years when the permanent teeth are all in place and growth spurts are common. 

How long do I have to wear braces?

Treatment times vary based on your individual needs. Following your orthodontist’s instructions and avoiding the foods you shouldn’t eat can keep your treatment on schedule and help you get your braces off as quickly as possible. 

Getting Started With Orthodontics 

Do you or your child need braces? The best way to find out is to schedule a consultation with The Brace Place Orthodontics. A brief evaluation can determine if orthodontic treatment is needed and what type would be best. 

To learn more, contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our two convenient locations.