Avoid These Foods If You Have Braces

Orthodontists are very clear on what kinds of food should be avoided when you have braces. Hard and chewy foods can damage the brackets, wires, and bands that make up your orthodontic appliance. Additionally, some sticky and crunchy foods can get stuck in between teeth, resulting in plaque build-up and cavities. To keep your teeth healthy while wearing braces, below are some of the foods to avoid so you can enjoy a confident and healthy smile.

Hard Candy

Hard candy like Jolly Ranchers and Werther’s Originals should be avoided when wearing braces. The hard texture of the candy can cause your brackets to come loose or break, and the sticky residue can get stuck in between teeth and lead to cavities. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, while over half of people can benefit from orthodontic treatment, it’s important to note that even the best orthodontic help can do little if people continue to eat unhealthy foods.


In addition to being sticky, chewing gum can get stuck in the brackets and wires during orthodontic treatment. This can cause the orthodontic appliance to become loose or even break altogether. Additionally, sugar-free gums often contain an ingredient called xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol that has been linked with tooth decay when consumed in large amounts.

Chewy Foods

Chewy foods should be avoided while wearing braces because they can pull on your wires and brackets as you chew them. Some examples of chewy foods to avoid include bagels, hard rolls, pizza crusts, beef jerky, and taffy. Instead of these types of foods, try softer versions such as a bagel softened in milk, cream cheese, or pretzels. Orthodontists will also have other tips you can use.

Crunchy Foods

Crunchy foods can also be damaging to braces since they can cause brackets and wires to become loose. Examples of crunchy foods to avoid include popcorn, nuts, chips, crackers, and apples. These types of food should be avoided even when you don’t have braces, because they contain high amounts of sugar that can lead to tooth decay. However, it is possible to enjoy some crunchy snacks by cutting them into smaller pieces, and brushing your teeth after eating them.

By avoiding these types of foods while wearing braces, you can ensure your braces remain intact and you can enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles. Following the advice of orthodontists is the best way to ensure your braces stay in place, and you can enjoy a straight smile for years to come. Call David Ross Orthodontics today!