One of the things our patients frequently ask is ‘What food can I not eat with braces?’ So let’s talk about it! What you shouldn’t eat? Avoid tough meats, hard foods, and raw vegetables. But until your braces are removed, you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances. When you make choices about what you eat, you help us create a good orthodontic result so you can remove your braces on time. Damaged braces from foods you shouldn’t eat will cause treatment to take longer!
What Food Should You Avoid?
- Chewy foods: bagels, licorice, jerky
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, pretzels
- Sticky foods: caramels and gum; they stick on the braces and other orthodontic appliances and can be difficult to remove, loosen brackets, bands, or bend a wire
- Hard foods: nuts, candy, hard pizza crust, hard rolls
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, or carrots (cut them up until smaller pieces and take corn off the cob)
- Chewing on pens, pencils or fingernails can also damage braces
- Highly acidic foods — they can eat away at the glue that adheres your braces to your teeth. Loose braces can extend treatment time. Some examples are, but are not limited to: lemon, lime, and sodas — even diet sodas
Tips for keeping treatment on schedule
- Minimize broken brackets/broken bands by carefully choosing what you eat.
- Come to all of your scheduled appointments — minimize rescheduling as this can add to your treatment length.
- Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth regularly and using floss.
- Continue to see your general dentist for cleanings and exams.
- Follow our instructions when wearing rubber bands, appliances, and turning appliances for expansion.