Foods to Avoid with Braces

October 1, 2020

If you need braces, or already have them, you need to be conscious of what you eat. You will receive a list of foods to avoid with braces. While that may seem very restrictive and limiting, it isn’t that bad. In a previous blog post, we covered many of the foods you can eat with braces. Today we will help you determine what foods may fall into the risky category.

Why What You Eat is Important

Although the brackets and wires for your braces are strong enough to move your teeth, they are also very easy to damage. With that in mind, the biggest adjustment is learning what foods to avoid with braces.

Brushing will be different. Flossing will be different. The way your mouth feels will be different. Eating will be different, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Nobody likes pain. While we try to make the process as pain-free as possible, braces will cause you some discomfort. Most of this will be the initial shifting of your teeth. The inside of your mouth may be sensitive to the brackets and wires, causing pressure sensitivity. Most of the initial discomfort will go away within the first couple of days. During that period, you may develop a fondness for mashed potatoes.

Between the tenderness in your mouth and the fragility of the braces, watching what you eat is important. Although orthodontists do expect “emergencies” with broken wires and other problems, they do encourage trying to avoid them.

How to Remember Foods to Avoid with Braces

While you are at home, it is very easy to check the list we hope you posted on your refrigerator. But at school, or away from home, it isn’t as easy to know what foods to avoid with braces. Learning the types of foods that can be a problem will help you maintain a healthy diet and keep your braces in good repair.

On our list, we include many different foods by specific names, such as “apples” and “carrots.” To expand on that, you should also avoid similar foods in texture, such as pears and celery. Hard and crunchy foods can damage wires. If you do eat raw fruits and vegetables, cut them into small, bite-sized pieces. Small bites can be chewed using your molars (back teeth) rather than your incisors (front teeth). This small adjustment to how you eat causes less damage to the wires.

Under sticky foods — just avoid anything even remotely sticky and icky. The chance of getting it stuck in between your wires is high. This can cause extensive tooth decay. Sticky may also require a trip to the orthodontist. The wires will need removal, then teeth cleaning, and new wire. No sticky icky foods, please.

Chewy foods like gummy bears, taffy, and similar present many of the same problems as sticky stuff. Small particles can get trapped in the wires.

Likewise, you should avoid sweets such as sugary sodas, energy drinks, and high sugar cereals. These won’t damage your braces much, but they do cause tooth decay. While the occasional sweets won’t do massive harm, you should brush immediately after eating them. Use moderation. If you can’t brush immediately, rinse thoroughly with water or mouthwash.

Got Questions? We Have Answers

When wearing braces, everything you eat will touch the wires and brackets on your teeth. Being aware of that fact will make selecting foods easier.

If you still have questions, please be sure to ask us. You can call our office at (206) 693-3123, send us an email at, or use the online contact portal. Your dental health is important to us.


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