smiling girl points to her braces

What Can’t You Eat With Braces?

Team Braces, Orthodontics

When you first get your braces on, your orthodontist will provide you with information on braces care. Food restrictions are necessary to prevent damage to your braces. Eating the wrong things or biting into certain foods could cause a bracket to come loose or bend your archwire, which could affect your progress. If you don’t want to wear braces any longer than is absolutely necessary, avoid the following foods. 

  • Gum. Chewing gum is definitely not a good idea when you first get your braces. Your new wires are very light and flexible and can easily break. Once you have stronger/ thicker wires placed a small piece of sugarless gum should not harm anything, but do not chew large pieces of sugary gum as these can break braces and lead to cavities.
  • Ice. Please do not chew on ice, even crushed ice. It is too hard for your braces, and is a bad oral habit to have as it can damage your teeth as you age. 
  • Hard candy. It is recommended that you avoid hard candy with braces. Although it is safe if you simply hold it in your mouth until it dissolves, if you bite or chew it you could do significant damage to your braces. 
  • Chewy candy. Taffy, hard caramel, and other chewy or sticky candy (Now or Laters) can be a problem with braces as well. These can be hard enough to do damage and then stick to braces when they soften. As you try to pull it off, your braces may come off with it. 
  • Popcorn. Popcorn is usually not a problem. Do not crunch on the hard kernels that are left at the bottom of the bag, and clean your teeth well to avoid those slivers getting caught in your teeth and gums.
  • Hard pretzels. Biting into large pieces of hard pretzels like pretzel rods or twists can damage your braces. If pretzels are something you can’t live without, eat soft pretzels and tear them into pieces, or choose thin pretzel sticks.
  • Corn chips. Some corn chips can be very hard, think Fritos, and should be avoided. Usually, eating one corn chip at a time will not damage your braces. Try not to put too many in your mouth at the same time.
  • Pizza crust. It is typically ok to bite into pizza, but it is best to avoid biting the crust. Pizza crust can be pretty hard and may cause damage to your braces. You may be able to cut or tear the crust into smaller pieces to eat as long as it isn’t too hard to chew. 
  • Bagels or hard breads. Bagels tend to be hard on the outside, so it is best to cut them up into pieces to eat. Other hard breads or breads with crispy crusts should be eaten the same way, in small pieces. You want to avoid tearing pieces off with your teeth.
  • Avoid biting into raw, crunchy fruits and vegetables. You can still eat things like apples, carrots, celery, and other raw fruits and veggies as long as you cut them into bite size pieces first and chew them with your back teeth or cook them until they are soft. It's the act of biting into an apple or biting off a piece of carrot that could damage your braces. Eating healthy is especially important for your dental and overall health, so we still encourage eating fruits and veggies, just in a way that is safe for your braces. 

Braces Care Information From Andover Orthodontics 

Being careful about what you eat is an important part of braces care. At Andover Orthodontics we provide you with all of the information and tools you need to take good care of your braces and teeth. Following your orthodontist’s instructions to properly care for your braces will help you get through your treatment faster. If you’re looking for an orthodontist for you or your child, Andover Orthodontics is currently accepting new patients in Andover, Massachusetts and the surrounding area. 

Call 978-475-0450 today to request an appointment. We look forward to providing you with quality orthodontic care.