Foods to Avoid When Wearing Braces

Team Braces, Food, Orthodontics

Braces are one of the most common orthodontic treatment options available. They have been around for a long time and are still a highly effective way to straighten your teeth and correct bite misalignment. 

A minor inconvenience that comes with braces is limitations on what foods you can eat. There are certain foods that should be avoided in order to prevent damage to your braces. Here’s a list of the common foods that are considered risky to your braces. 

Avoid the following: 

It is always best to avoid eating the following foods when you have braces for various reasons: 

  • Popcorn. Think about how often popcorn kernels get stuck in your teeth when you don’t have braces. Then consider how likely they are to get stuck when you do have braces. A popcorn kernel stuck under a braces bracket or band can be very uncomfortable and may need to be removed by your orthodontist. 
  • Hard candy. Hard candy should never be chewed, but even sucking on it in your cheek where your brackets are can be a problem. It is best to avoid it altogether. 
  • Sticky candy. Some candies are particularly sticky or chewy, which can cause a bracket or band to pop off a tooth. 
  • Gum. Gum can get stuck everywhere in your braces. It is best to avoid chewing gum altogether while you have braces. Use soft mints if you wish to freshen your breath. 
  • Hard Nuts. Most nuts are too hard to chew with your braces. Nuts can damage brackets or get stuck under bands and cause discomfort. 
  • Hard pretzels. Pretzels can be very hard. It is best to avoid chewing hard pretzels, and especially avoid biting into pretzel rods. 
  • Pizza crust. The crust part of your pizza can be very hard and can cause damage to braces if you try to bite it. Feel free to eat the softer portion of the pizza as long as you avoid the hard crust. 
  • Hard bread. Bread with a hard crust can damage your braces if you bite into it. Remove the hard crust and eat only the soft portion of the bread, or avoid it altogether. 
  • Corn chips. Corn chips tend to form hard chunks as you chew them that can get stuck under your archwires and bend them.
  • Chewing ice. A common habit, chewing ice is one of the leading causes of damage to braces. Avoid chewing on ice or even sucking on it as you may be tempted to bite. 

Foods you can eat when cut:

These foods can still be eaten, but should always be cut into bite size pieces first: 

  • Apples and other crunchy fruits. Avoid biting into a whole apple. Instead cut it into bite size pieces first. Do the same with other crunchy fruits to be safe. 
  • Crunchy vegetables. Raw crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery should be cut into bite size pieces or cooked until soft. 
  • Granola bars. Granola bars may be too hard to bite into, but can be cut into bite size pieces or broken up into smaller grains. Avoid granola bars that include hard nuts. 
  • Soft pretzels. Even soft pretzels tend to have a hard outer crust. It would be best to cut or tear a soft pretzel into pieces before eating. 
  • Corn on the cob. Cut the corn off the cob before eating. 
  • Burgers. Instead of biting into a burger, cut it into pieces before eating. 

Take Care of Your Braces With Help From Smith Orthodontics

Smith Orthodontics provides traditional metal braces, clear braces, and clear aligners. When it comes to wearing metal or clear braces, it is best to follow your orthodontist’s instructions on what to eat. At Smith Orthodontics we provide you with easy-to-follow guidelines on eating and taking care of your braces. By keeping your braces in good condition, your treatment will be successful and may take less time. 

Call 937-431-0947 today to schedule a consultation or request an appointment. We look forward to helping you transform your smile.