Eating with Braces


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What can you eat? When braces are first placed, or after an orthodontic adjustment, your teeth will be sore when you chew. Stick to soft foods and consider meals such as soup, pasta, pancakes, eggs, macaroni and cheese, etc. After a few days, you'll be eating a pretty normal diet again.

There are foods, however, that can damage your braces. Hard, sticky, chewy, or crunchy foods can bend your archwires or cause brackets and bands to come loose from your teeth. This can cause unwanted tooth movement and lengthen your treatment.

Please avoid the following:

  • All gum (even sugarless)
  • Chewing on ice
  • Sticky, chewy candy (Starbursts, Fruit Rollups, Skittles, Now-N-Laters, Air Heads, Tootsie Rolls, Milk Duds, Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, Fruit by the Foot, caramels, licorice, taffy, etc.)
  • Chewing on hard candy (Jolly Ranchers, jaw breakers, candy canes, lollypops, peanut brittle, toffee, etc.)
  • Hard rolls, french bread, & bagels
  • Deep dish pizza crust
  • Granola bars
  • Large pretzels (hard or soft)
  • Bagel chips, pita chips, or other hard chip snacks
  • Popcorn that is not fully popped
  • Caramel apples
  • Raw carrots (slice them thin)
  • Corn on the cob (cut kernels off the cob)
  • Whole apples (slice them into thin wedges)
  • Biting into very hard ice cream
  • Also, please do not chew on pens, pencils, fingernails, or other hard objects.

Please use your common sense when deciding which foods you should eat and those to be avoided.

If your band or bracket comes completely off, keep it in a safe place and bring it with you to the office. If you are wearing headgear or elastics attached to a loose band or bracket, stop wearing them until we perform the repair. If a band or bracket comes loose, please call us to let us know, even if you notice something is broken the day of your appointment, as it is not always possible to repair appliances at your regular appointment without prior warning. This is because additional time is needed in the schedule to reattach the loose portion of your braces. Please do not arrive for an appointment with a loose bracket or band without having called us in advance to inform us. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

We reward our patients by taking good care of their braces by not having broken brackets at their appointments. Please see our Patient Rewards page for details on how you can earn wooden nickels and turn them in for fun prizes!