What can you not eat with braces? Many people think that when you get braces you have to eat all soft foods. This is somewhat true, the first couple of days after you get your braces on your teeth will be sore. We suggest eating soft foods as your mouth adjusts to the new pressure and appliances. However after the initial few days, there are many things that you can still eat while in orthodontic treatment with braces. Your diet should return to almost normal!

Why Avoid Specific Foods?

There are some items to avoid eating with braces for a few different reasons. First of all, you do not want to damage your appliances or your teeth. Breaking wires, brackets or other appliances could lead to delayed treatment time. We understand that most patients want their braces removed as soon as possible and the best way to accomplish that is to follow all instructions from Dr. Harris. For example, biting into an apple (although a great healthy snack) is almost guaranteed to break a bracket.

Secondly, we do not want to jeopardize the health of your teeth. Many foods are prone to getting stuck in brackets or between teeth. If food and bacteria sit stuck for long periods of time, this could cause cavities and poor oral hygiene. It is also possible to damage your teeth, gums or cheeks from a broken appliance. In conclusion, these are all issues that can be avoided by not eating anything you are not supposed to.

What to Not Eat with Braces

So, what are the foods to not eat with braces? A good rule is to not eat anything hard, sticky or chewy. For example:

  • Apples (not cut into slices)
  • Bagels
  • Candy that is sticky/chewy (Starburst, Skittles, Caramels, Tootsie Rolls, Jolly Ranchers, suckers, etc)
  • Carrots (not cut into pieces)
  • Chewing ice
  • Chips that are hard (Doritos, Fritos, etc)
  • French Bread
  • Hard pretzels
  • Pears (not cut into slices)
  • Pizza crust
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • *Click HERE to download a full printable list of foods to avoid.

We understand that having to give up one of your favorite items to eat may be difficult, but once your braces come off you can go back to eating items on this list. It will all be worth it!