Whether you are new to braces or well into your orthodontic treatment plan, it’s very important that you are conscious of what you eat. Although braces are extremely sturdy and stable, they need to be treated with care by eating foods that are gentle on your brackets and wires. By eating the right things now, you can ensure a healthier smile later. That’s why we’ve put together a list of foods to avoid with braces.

Foods to Avoid With Braces

During your first few days with braces, stick to only eating soft foods. It only takes one bad bite to damage your braces and prolong your orthodontic treatment. For the remainder of your orthodontic treatment plan, follow this list of foods to avoid with braces as much as possible:

  • Crunchy foods like partially popped popcorn kernels, ice, pretzels, hard cookies, and chips.
  • Sticky foods like caramels, chocolate, sugary gum, and candy.
  • Chewy foods like bagels and licorice.
  • Hard foods like pizza crust, whole carrots, candy, nuts and taco shells.
  • Also avoid chewing on pens, pencils, fingernails and especially ice. These can all damage your braces and prolong treatment.

Additionally, avoid biting into hard foods with your front teeth. Consider cutting up these foods, or better yet, avoid them completely:

  • Raw vegetables
  • Croutons
  • French/Italian bread and pizza crust
  • Meat on the bone
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples
  • Carrots

In addition to avoiding hard foods, it’s also important to avoid chewing on hard items such as pens, pencils and fingernails. These things can damage your braces, and when a bracket comes loose and is no longer attached to your tooth, that tooth is no longer moving in the right direction. It could actually be moving in the wrong direction, back to where it started. Loose and broken braces can cause treatment to last longer, so contact your orthodontist as soon as you notice something is off.

Check Out These 5 Healthy and Delicious Foods You CAN Eat With Braces

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Foods You CAN Eat When Wearing Braces

While the list above may seem never ending, don’t panic! We’ve also put together a list of tasty foods you are able to eat safely with braces:

  • Soft Fruits, like blueberries, grapefruits, nectarines, kiwi, bananas, grapes, and tangerines
    Steamed Vegetables (so they’re softer)
  • Dairy Products, like yogurt and cheese.
  • Soft Grains and Noodles, like mac and cheese, cooked ravioli, quinoa, and rice
  • Soft Meats, like tender chicken, turkey, meat loaf, lunch meat, and seafood
  • Eggs, which are a good alternative to tough meats.
  • Desserts, like pudding, applesauce, smoothies, and ice cream.
  • Soft Breads, like tortillas, biscuits, muffins, pancakes.
  • Snacks, like soft crackers or cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and hulless popcorn.

Pro Tip: The healthier you are, the better results you will see. A proper diet provides the essential nutrients required to sustain strong bones and tissues that are undergoing change under braces.

Paying attention to what you’re eating is essential to protecting and preserving your smile. By following our list of foods to avoid with braces and cleaning your teeth regularly, you’ll be on track to a healthier and happier smile in no time.

And as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you may have about your orthodontic treatment plan. We’re here to help!

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