Eating with braces

An important part of caring for your braces is being cautious while eating. Braces will only work if they are bonded on your teeth.  So, what can you do to reduce the chance of bond failure?  Well, don’t eat anything that is crunchy, sticky, gooey, or chewy.  Are you thinking about all your favorite snacks right now?

Below are some of the foods we recommend you avoid while wearing braces.

Foods to avoid with braces

These foods can pop off the brackets from your teeth and/or damage the wires in your braces. They should NOT be eaten while you have braces. 

  • Hard and soft candies
  • Sticky candies, such as taffy or licorice
  • Crunchy Corn Chips
  • Popcorn
  • Jerky
  • Crunching ice with your teeth
  • Handfuls of Nuts and seeds
  • Crusty bread, such as pizza crust or hard bagels
  • Taco Shells
  • Hard Fruits & Vegetables
  • Sugar Drinks
  • Lemons & Limes
  • Meat on the Bone
  • Pretzels
  • Chewing on hard objects, such as pens and pencils

Foods you can eat with braces, only if you are careful

These foods can still be dangerous to your braces if you do not take care while eating them and follow the below guidelines.

  • Crunchy fruits, such as apples: cut into small pieces
  • Crunchy vegetables, such as carrots: cut into small pieces, soften by cooking, or juice
  • Taco shells or chips: crush and add them to your meal
  • Meats: remove it from the bone
  • Sub sandwiches: cut into smaller pieces, and avoid biting with your front teeth
  • Corn on the cob: cut the corn off the cob
  • Break pretzels into smaller pieces

The best foods to eat while you have braces

These foods are orthodontist approved! They are both safe for your braces, and also easy to eat your braces are tightened.

  • Hot cereals, like grits, oatmeal, and cream of wheat
  • Scrambled Eggs/Omelet
  • Pancakes
  • Cheese
  • Hot Dogs
  • Chicken (Nuggets Also)
  • Salads (ham, egg, tuna, chicken)
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Casseroles
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Applesauce
  • Canned Fruits
  • Jell-O
  • Yogurt
  • Peanut/Almond/Cashew butter
  • Pudding
  • Ice Cream
  • Milk Shakes
  • Fruit Smoothies
  • Pastas, like macaroni and cheese, ravioli, spaghetti, etc.
  • Rice
  • Chili
  • Beef Stew

Sugar should always be consumed sparingly! This is even more important while wearing braces. Eating and drinking sugary foods and drinks greatly increases the risk of developing tooth decay because the sugars have more areas to hide in.

Avoiding the foods that can damage the brackets and wires of your braces will help prevent repairs, and needing repairs will increase your treatment time.

Even though you may have to give up some foods that you enjoy for a period of time, getting a healthy, beautiful smile, in less time will be worth it.