Are there foods I can’t eat with braces?

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Although they are made to be sturdy, people who choose to get braces need to limit their diet while wearing them. Braces given by an orthodontist are stable and advanced, but they still need to be treated with care. This requires eating soft foods that will not ruin the wires and brackets holding the contraption in place and all together. Some foods can potentially cause damage, and should be completely avoided. In general, people should avoid all sticky, chewy, or hard foods. Soft foods are much easier on mouth hardware and should be consumed during the duration of the process.

Some other foods can damage the teeth because they are hard to clean when they get stuck in the metal. These should only be eaten only if you can take the time to thoroughly clean your mouth. Some foods also can result in tooth decay and should only be eaten in moderation, if your teeth are available to be cleaned shortly after consumption. Here are some foods that should be considered a danger to metal hardware:

  • Popcorn
  • Hard Taco Shells
  • Pizza Crust
  • Gum
  • Crusty Bread and Bagels
  • Ice
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Taffy
  • Beef Jerky
  • Hard Candy

An orthodontist will recommend some foods that can be eaten if done so properly, but they have the potential to cause damage. With some careful planning, these foods can be cut into small pieces or removed from the bone prior to eating. Some of these foods include:

  • Apples (dice before eating)
  • Carrots (dice before eating)
  • Meat attached to a bone (take meat off of bone)
  • Hard crackers or cookies (soften these with some milk)
  • Hard Vegetables (these can be softened by steaming them for about 5 minutes, which will not let them lose their nutrition).


Some foods are acceptable to eat if they are cleaned out of the mouth shortly after consumption. These foods have the ability to get stuck in places that are difficult to clean, therefore strengthening the chance to damage the teeth. These foods may not be worth the trouble of immediate cleaning to everyone, but these are not banned foods, just cautioned:

  • Chewing gum
  • Soft gummy candy
  • Stringy meats
  • Soft caramels
  • As below, if you eat sweets, make sure you clean your teeth right away.

Foods That Cause Tooth Decay Must be Cleaned Immediately after Consumption

Your teeth are more susceptible to decay when wearing metal hardware. Because of this, it is important to get any sugar off the teeth as soon as possible. This goes for sugary beverages as well as candy. These should be limited anyway, but if consumed, need to be cleaned immediately. These include many of the foods mentioned above in addition to:

  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Mints

It is most important to avoid biting into hard foods using only your front teeth. Some foods that typically require this are:

  • Croutons
  • French bread
  • Sub sandwiches
  • Corn on the cob

Maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is not only vital to your teeth, but it is important for overall health. The best results of teeth straightening result from a healthy mouth and healthy diet. You need to receive all of the essential nutrients in order to support the bones and tissues in the mouth that are undergoing a change. Some foods that are high in nutrition that can be eaten at will are:

  • Melon
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Peanut Butter
  • Light Cheese

Some people opt to get invisalign rather than getting braces, and this makes for an easier diet schedule. Soft foods can be consumed with invisalign in the mouth, but it is not recommended. Wearers are able to drink fluids while wearing the device, as long as teeth are thoroughly cleaned at the end of the day to make sure no sugar has been trapped or left behind.

If it is impossible to brush immediately after drinking a sugary drink, the aligners can be removed for a water-rinse or a warm water wipe. The great thing about wearing aligners is that they can be removed at any time to eat any food of your choosing. They can then be replaced after teeth have been cleaned. Chewing gum or eating pizza is not a problem, as long as you remember to replace the aligners after consumption.

King Orthodontics has been family operated for over half of a century. King Orthodontics specializes in orthodontics for both children and adults. This is a great place to call if you are interested in alternative treatments to traditional metal hardware. This creates an easier quality of life and less stress throughout the process of teeth straightening.

The King Orthodontics’ valued team is committed to compassionate care using the latest advancements to create straight and beautiful smiles. Call today to make an appointment at (937) 433 0830.

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