What Can You Eat When You Have Braces?

There are certain dietary habits that are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances, as well as increase the risk of dental disease.

Dr. Sievers’s aim is to achieve the treatment goals with as few disturbances as possible, and to minimize the side effects of poor diet choices.

Remember, teeth move best in a healthy environment and in individuals with excellent overall health!

Foods to Avoid In Braces

Foods and drinks that may cause cavities should be restricted while wearing braces.

If you really want sugary food or drinks, Dr. Sievers and Dr. Van Vooren recommend having them with regular meals or at one particular time of day. Carefully brush your teeth and rinse your mouth immediately afterwards to ensure that minimal sugar remains on your teeth.

Between-meal snacks should be foods without refined sugar, and should still be followed by brushing or vigorous rinsing for optimal mouth health.

Sticky and overly hard or crunchy food should be avoided as well, because they increase your risk of dental decay and appliance breakage.

Kinds of Foods to Stay Away From

Braces are attached to your teeth with an adhesive that normally will withstand the forces of eating, but braces can be dislodged and wires bent or broken while eating certain foods. Some of these foods include:

  • Ice (chewing it can destroy your braces)
  • Sticky food or candy of any kind (gum, taffy, caramels, Tootsie Rolls, Gummy Bears, Now and Laters) damage appliances by bending wires and pulling cement loose.
  • Hard food or candy of any kind (Jolly Ranchers, pizza crust, hard pretzels, beef jerky, Doritos, Fritos, Corn Nuts, raw carrots, nuts) may do damage by bending wires, loosening cement under the bands or breaking the little brackets and tubes that are attached.
  • Foods high in sugar content (cake, cookies, ice cream) should be avoided whenever possible. If you do eat them, brush your teeth immediately. If it is not convenient to brush, then always rinse your mouth with clear water after eating sweet foods.
  • Though they don’t involve food, nail-biting, pencil and pen chewing, and chewing on other foreign objects should be avoided as well.
  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst
  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy
  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Talk to Your Embraces Orthodontists

Remember, if you have any questions about dietary restrictions or good food choices, please ask Dr. Sievers and Dr. Van Vooren!

It's important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, call our offices in Cambridge, Lindstrom, or Pine City immediately to arrange an appointment for repair.