Although braces have become sturdier over the years, it’s still important to be careful not to damage them. Certain foods can damage components of braces like rubber bands, wires or brackets. Here, our orthodontists explain what food to avoid during treatment with braces.
If you are undergoing treatment with braces, it’s important to avoid certain foods that can increase your risk for cavities or damage your braces.
Sugary and starchy foods generate plaque acid that can cause tooth decay and promote gum disease. Sticky, chewy sweets like caramel, fudges and toffee can also cause wire damage and loosen brackets.
What food should someone who is wearing braces avoid?
Generally, patients with braces should avoid all foods that are sticky, hard or chewy and can break braces or make their impact less effective. The following are examples of foods to avoid when wearing braces:
- Sticky/hard candy
- Sticky/hard chocolate
- Corn chips and pretzels
- Hard cookies or crackers
What food can someone who is wearing braces eat?
Soft foods are recommended most for those who wear braces because they are gentler on the hardware. Here are some examples of food that you can eat while wearing braces:
- Soft fruits without pits (bananas, grapes, strawberries, etc.)
- Light crackers or cookies
- Hull-less popcorn
- Mashed potatoes
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Pasta and other noodle dishes
Braces wearers should also try to avoid biting into hard foods with the front teeth. When possible, the following hard foods can be cut up into smaller pieces:
- Raw vegetables
- Hard bread or rolls
- Thin crust pizza
- Meat and Burgers
- Corn on the cob
It can take years to straighten teeth with braces, and any damage to the wires or brackets can increase the length of your treatment. To keep your braces intact, be sure to select foods you can eat and take good care of your oral health.