food to avoid with braces

Foods to Avoid with Braces

Now that you’re considering braces or you’ve had them installed, let’s talk food! One of the most important things to consider when it comes to orthodontics is foods to avoid with braces. It’s not about what you can eat, it’s about what you shouldn’t eat.

Once your braces are first installed, it’s important to stick to soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. The first few days after your braces are installed, and even after they are tightened, may be uncomfortable. Sticking to soft foods can help reduce the pain and discomfort of eating with braces.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

When it comes to eating with braces, you need to be careful. While some foods can make your braces bother you, others can actually damage your braces or other orthodontic appliances. The following is a list of foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods like bagels, licorice, dried fruits, beef jerky, or granola bars
  • Crunchy foods like popcorn, ice, nuts, carrots, celery, or hard pretzels
  • Sticky foods like caramel, gum, taffy, starburst, or toffee
  • Hard foods like corn on the cob, apples, chips, nuts, and ice
  • Sugary food like candy
  • Foods you need to bite into like corn on the cob, apples, carrots

In addition to foods to avoid with braces, you should make sure you don’t chew on hard things. For example, some people have the habit of chewing on pens or fingernails. This can damage your braces. Loose and broken braces can impede upon your orthodontic treatment. If your wires or brackets become loose or broken without you knowing, it can actually cause your orthodontic treatment to go backward.

What Should I Do If a Wire or Bracket Becomes Loose?

If you’ve slipped up and eaten something from the foods to avoid with brace list, you might find yourself with broken braces. While this definitely needs to be addressed, don’t be alarmed. Broken brackets and loose wires happen to patients occasionally. If a wire comes undone and is causing you pain or irritation, use wax to smooth out the end until you can get to the orthodontist.

Foods You Can Eat with Braces

While there are several foods to avoid with braces, there are several foods that you can eat. Some of the best food choices for people with braces are:

  • Smoothies
  • Soups
  • Yogurt and other dairy products
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Soft Fruit
  • Applesauce
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Baked Fish
  • Meatloaf
  • Tofu
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Ravioli or other soft pasta dishes
  • Thin crackers or cookies

The softer the food, the easier it is on the appliances in your mouth.

There are several foods to avoid with braces. And, while it may be a bummer for the kids, it won’t last forever. The better you are about sticking to the list of foods to avoid with braces, the quicker and smoother your orthodontic treatment will be. If you are worried about whether or not your favorite foods can still be enjoyed now that you have braces, talk to your orthodontist for advice.