Foods to avoid if you have braces

Orthodontists attach braces to your teeth with a small amount of special cement. Braces are not bolted, riveted, nailed, welded or chemically melded to your teeth. This orthodontic cement is designed to hold the brackets and bands against your teeth during normal treatment and when it’s time to remove the braces, the cement comes off easily without leaving any permanent damage or marks.

It doesn’t take much force to remove or break the braces off the teeth and that is good only because it allows for their easy removal when the time is right. However, it can be bad for you because any heavy force you put on your braces could break them and extend your treatment time.

Hard and sticky foods can break off brackets, bend wires and loosen bands which will ultimately extend your treatment time. Foods high in sugar content can cause cavities, calculus build-up and staining of the teeth.

So what can you do? You must limit your foods to those that are soft and healthy. This does not mean you can only eat mashed potatoes while wearing braces, but there are certain types of foods that should be avoided.


HARD FOODS – Anything that is hard cannot be chewed with braces on. Remember, braces are fragile and any strong force from hard food will break them. Damaged appliances will extend treatment time and extended treatment time can increase the risk of cavities and staining of the teeth.

STICKY FOODS – Foods that are sticky or chewy will get stuck between the teeth and braces and are extremely difficult to remove with simple brushing causing cavities and staining. Braces can also be pulled off by sticky foods which again will extend the treatment time.

FOODS HIGH IN SUGAR & STARCH – Braces make it harder to keep your teeth and mouth clean. Bacteria feed on sugar and starch creating plaque, which cause cavities, so remember to brush immediately after consuming sugary food or drinks. Below is a partial list of foods to avoid.

Corn on the Cob


Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos

Hard Taco Shells

Hard Pizza Crust


Beef Jerky

Hard Pretzels

Ice / Snow Cones

Nuts & Seeds

Peanut Brittle

Hard Rolls & Bagels

Raw Carrots



Crunchy Peanut Butter

Crunchy or Chewy Cookies


Gummy Bears, Worms, etc


Chewing Gum/Bubble Gum

Starburst Chews

Jolly Ranchers

Lollipops of any kind