Foods to Avoid

Unfortunately, some foods are harmful to your braces and can cause damage to, or even break your braces. These problems can cause delay in treatment and prevent you from getting your braces off in the estimated time we have given you. For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided. Read the following list carefully and remember to avoid these foods.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels (Sticky goo which pulls off wires and feeds the bacteria in your mouth. Fruit Roll-ups, Now and Laters, Laffy Taffy and Gummy Bears all are no-no’s.)
  • Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

  • Ice (it completely destroys braces)
  • Nuts (no nuts of any kind)
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels (Bends the wires and knocks off brackets)
  • Chips (will form a hard ball and break your braces)
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust (the hard crust bends wires. Eat the pizza – but avoid the crust!)
  • Uncooked carrots (hard as rocks. Buy the smaller matchstick carrots or zap them in the microwave to soften them up a bit)
  • Hard Pretzels (bends wires, loosens bands and knocks off brackets)
  • Beef Jerky, Slim Jims (tough as nails)
  • Suckers/Hard candies (you might weaken and bite into the candy)
  • Ribs/Chicken wings (knocks off brackets – just pull the meat off the bones)
  • Popcorn (the little shells get between the gums and bands-hurts like crazy)

Minimize Sugary Foods like:

  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Only Once a Day:

  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar

It’s important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, call our office immediately to arrange an appointment for repair.