Foods to Avoid When You Have Braces

You’ve probably been warned that there are certain foods you should avoid when you have braces. Even though today’s braces are sturdy, you still want to be gentle on the brackets and wires to avoid bending, breaking or damaging them. If that happens, not only can it be painful and inconvenient, but the damage can actually prolong treatment – which means you’ll have to need your braces even longer to correct the problem.

To avoid breakage and make your time wearing braces as painless as possible, it’s best to avoid any sticky, gooey or hard foods. Most of the time you can trust your judgment, but to help here is a list of foods to avoid when you have braces:

Gummy or sticky candy
Popcorn
Nuts
Gum
Caramel
Ice
Pretzels
Hard cookies or crackers
Raw veggies such as carrots
Hard pizza crust
Beef jerky
Hard chips or taco shells

You’ll also want to be careful with vegetables and fruits such as celery and apples. You can cut them up so you don’t have to bite with your front teeth. The same concept goes for other hard or chewy foods including tough meats, bagels, corn on the cob, chips, crackers, etc.

So what CAN you eat?
Don’t worry! Having braces shouldn’t hinder your nutritional options too much. Bananas, yogurt, pastas, cheese, mashed potatoes, dairy, seafood, eggs, thin/light crackers and plenty of other foods will cause no problems. You can still eat most dishes – just make anything tough or chewy is cut so you don’t have to bite too hard. Be gentle.

Oops! I forgot and ate a caramel apple. Now what?
Don’t panic. If you ate something hard or sticky and accidentally broke a bracket or wire, or felt some type of shift in the hardware, call your orthodontist to schedule an appointment. He or she will check it out and if needed, fix the problem.

Remember, braces are temporary but a beautiful smile can last forever. Avoiding a few foods now will be worth it in the long run. When you get your braces off, you can enjoy your new smile while eating gummy bears, popcorn, taffy and nuts!

For more information on braces, or to schedule an appointment, visit our Hunter Family Orthodontics.