Foods to Avoid


One disadvantage of braces is that you have to limit your diet while wearing them. Some foods have the potential to damage braces, and should be avoided completely. Other foods are hard to clean and should be eaten only if you’re prepared to take the time to clean your braces. Some foods can result in decay to your teeth and should be eaten in moderation, and only if your teeth are cleaned quickly afterward.

At Stoll Orthodontics, we can explain to you all the diet limitations that come with keeping your braces in shape so your teeth keep moving into their desired positions. This page contains some basics about the foods to avoid, but if you have specific questions, please call 303-450-2211 or e-mail Stoll Orthodontics in Thornton, Colorado.

Foods That Can Damage Braces (Avoid)

If you have braces, there are some foods you just can’t eat because they can damage bend wires and pop brackets. These include:

  • Popcorn
  • Pizza crust
  • Crusty bread, including bagels
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Ice
  • Beef jerky
  • Taffy
  • Hard candy

Foods That Need Special Treatment (Eat with Care)

Some foods can damage braces if eaten improperly, but are fine if you take a little care. These foods need to be cut into bite size pieces or taken off the bone before you eat them, and include:

  • Apples and other crunchy fruit (cut into pieces)
  • Carrots and other crunchy vegetables (cut into pieces or soften)
  • Meat on the bone (remove from the bone)
  • Hard cookies (soften with milk)

To soften hard veggies, steam them just long enough that they lose their crunch. This will keep as much of the flavor and nutrition as possible.

Foods That Require Special Cleaning (Think before You Eat)

Some foods can be eaten, if you’re prepared to go the extra mile to clean your braces. Frankly, these aren’t normally worth it, but if you just have to have it, you can do it:

  • Chewing gum
  • Stringy meats
  • Gummy bears (if they’re soft)
  • Soft caramels

As below, if you eat sweets, make sure you clean your teeth right away.

Foods That Cause Decay (Clean Immediately after Eating)

When you have braces, your teeth are more susceptible to decay, so it’s important to clean your teeth right after eating any sweets. This includes any kind of candy or sugary beverage. It’s best to limit these, too, because even if you clean right away, your teeth may still suffer damage.

If you are considering braces and have additional care questions, please contact Stoll Orthodontics in Thornton, Colorado today.