Eating with Braces

Foods to avoid with braces

Your braces are very strong. They are designed to stay on your teeth the entire time of your orthodontic treatment. By following some simple guidelines, you can minimize breakage and maximize treatment. For the first day or so, stick to soft foods until you get used to chewing with braces. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Even when you get completely used to chewing and eating with braces, you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for the whole duration of treatment. We ask that you avoid eating sticky or hard foods during your orthodontic treatment. Eating these foods can cause damage to the archwires, break brackets, and loosen the bands that hold your expanders and other appliances. Damaged or broken braces, wires and appliances will cause treatment to take longer.

Avoid Our "Ten Biggest Brace Breakers"!

  • Ice
  • Nuts (or anything with nuts in it)/granola bars
  • Hard chips (esp. Corn chips, Doritos & Fritos)
  • Hard or sticky candy (Taffy, caramels, suckers, Jolly Ranchers & gummy bears)
  • Whole apples/raw vegetables (should be cut into smaller bite-size pieces, see below)
  • Whole bagels/Pizza crust/Hard pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Beef Jerky
  • Corn on a Cob/Chicken and meat on the bone/Ribs (should be cut into smaller bite-size pieces, see below)
  • Pencils/Pen caps/Water Bottles

Corn on the cob, meat and chicken on the bone, corn dogs, apples, carrots, bagels, etc., should be cut into the bite size pieces before eating.

Chewing on straws or biting fingernails can cause damage as well, and avoid Beef jerky, Slim Jims and sugary Bubble gum of any kind (you may chew sugar-free gum, it is softer and designed not to stick to or break dental work and/or orthodontic appliances). As a patient, you are responsible for carefully examining each part of your appliance and braces everyday to make sure that everything is properly attached to the teeth. If you notice something is loose, please call our office as soon as possible, even if you have an appointment scheduled in the near future.

Soft Drinks + Orthodontic Treatment = A Recipe for Disaster

Soft drinks, including regular and diet soda pop, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks, weaken tooth enamel, they're extremely ACIDIC! They are even harder on teeth with orthodontic “appliances,” such as braces or aligners. It is recommended that you avoid soft drinks during your orthodontic treatment so that your teeth stay healthy and strong, and you finish your treatment with a good bite and a healthy, beautiful smile.

Please download the "Ten Biggest Brace Breakers" attachment below and post it on your fridge or in your kitchen as a reminder of what foods to avoid to prevent brace breakages.

Attachment: Ten Biggest Brace Breakers.pdf (91.15 KB)