Foods to Avoid with Braces

Some foods are a danger to the orthodontic appliances. These foods could break brackets off of teeth or bend the wires, either lengthening overall treatment time or compromising treatment results. Avoid anything that seems like it may pop a bracket off or could bend your wires. As a general rule, if you can’t squish it with your fingers, it’s probably not okay! Common culprits- hidden popcorn kernels, hard chips, frozen bits in ice cream, or thick or chewy foods like bagels, pizza crust, carrots, gummy candy. Don’t eat anything that you normally have to bite off (apples, corn, carrots, beef jerky), unless you cut it into small pieces first. Please don’t chew on pens/pencils, fingernails, silverware, or any other item.

Other foods are a danger to the health of your teeth regardless of whether you have braces or not. Foods that can get stuck on teeth around nooks and crannies adjacent to brackets and under wires—especially if proper oral hygiene is lacking—are a particular threat to dental health. Obvious culprits are foods and drinks high in sugar and/or acidity such as candy, sugary baked goods, soda and sports drinks. Less obvious, but arguably equally dangerous culprits, are foods high in starch such as cereals, chips, and crackers. The best defense is regular and thorough brushing.