Some foods can stain, damage or break braces. In order to achieve a beautiful smile and optimize your braces treatment, you’ll have to avoid some foods that you might normally eat. The good news is that there are still many other things that are safe to eat.
Remember, braces are attached to your teeth using a gentle glue, not crazy glue. If they were attached with a crazy glue-like substance, we wouldn’t be able to remove them and your teeth could potentially break during the removal of braces. Therefore, be gentle with your braces. Treat them with care and you will have great results and in the shortest period of time.
Food to Avoid
- Chocolate (sticky chocolate and hard, solid chocolate)
- Hard cookies
- Candy (sticky, hard, gummy, crunchy and chewy candy like caramel, taffy, tootsie rolls, Twizzlers, jelly beans, Skittles)
- No Gum. Seriously, no gum
- Hard bread (bagels, pretzels)
- Ice/Ice cubes (don’t chew on ice in your mouth)
- Hard Pizza Crust (the rest of the pizza is fine if it’s soft)
- Raw carrots
- Whole apples (cut them into smaller bite-size pieces)
- Whole pears (cut them into smaller bite-size pieces)
- Beef jerky and hard meat
- Meat with bones (cut the meat off the bone first)
- Hard cheese (don’t try biting into a parmesan block)
- Pickles (cut them into smaller bit-size pieces)
- Hard chips
- Corn on the cob (cut the corn kernels off first)
In addition to the above foods, avoid chewing foreign objects like pencils, pens or your nails.
Foods that are safe with braces:
- Mashed potatoes
- Soft cheese
- Soft fruits (watermelon, cantaloupes, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
- Ice cream, Jell-O and puddings (without nuts or marshmallows)
- Soft bread, pancakes, muffins (without nuts, candy or raisins)
- Soft steamed or boiled vegetables
- Tomatoes and persimmons
- Hot dogs and hamburgers
- Salmon, tuna and other fish without bones
- Crab, shrimp, prawns and lobster (avoid biting into the hard shells)
- Spaghetti, noodles, macaroni and cheese, ravioli, lasagna
Remember, it’s impossible to list everything that can or cannot be eaten. Use common sense in deciding if something is safe to eat with braces. If something seems unsafe or looks like it can damage braces, play it safe and avoid it altogether.
If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry. Some of the things on the list of foods to avoid are not very good for your teeth even without braces. This list should be taken seriously to prevent any broken brackets or wires. Any damage to braces will increase the total cost of treatment and prolong treatment times.
During treatment, brackets could break and this does happen occasionally. If a bracket does break, don’t worry and keep your regular appointment. At your next appointment simply let your doctor know about the breakage or loose bracket. The doctor will decide what to do at your regular scheduled appointment. A loose bracket is not an emergency. Treat your braces with respect and care and this treatment will result in a beautiful smile that you can really be proud of.