Foods to Avoid with Braces

What Foods Should I Avoid With Braces?

mouth blowing bubble gum
At Henseler & Kocian Orthodontics, our mission is to help patients throughout Woodbury, Stillwater, and the surrounding areas achieve gorgeous, healthy smiles. As a leading orthodontist serving patients of all ages, we're proud to offer a wide range of orthodontic treatment options, including convenient and discreet options like clear braces and Invisalign. But despite the alternatives on the market, traditional metal braces still remain a very popular treatment option. Achieving a new smile with braces isn't as hard as many people think, but there are a few changes you'll need to make during treatment – and one of the most important is limiting certain foods while wearing braces. 

The Main Types of Foods to Avoid with Braces

Orthodontic treatment requires a few lifestyle changes if you're straightening your teeth with clear or metal braces.  While alternatives like Invisalign don't require you to modify your diet as much, certain foods pose a risk of damaging orthodontic appliances. That means you'll need to keep a watchful eye and avoid any food that might pose a threat to your braces and the health of your teeth.  Generally speaking, there are three categories of food you'll need to avoid with braces:

  • Hard Foods: First on our list are hard foods. As the name implies, hard foods include anything that's hard, tough, or crunchy – think things like bagels, pizza crust, hard crackers and chips, corn on the cob, and certain raw fruits and vegetables like apples or carrots. Hard foods like these can snap off brackets as you bite into them, so it's best to steer clear or cut them into tiny chunks while wearing braces.
  • Sticky Foods: The second category is sticky foods, which means anything sticky, gooey, or chewy. Many candies like caramels and taffy are on the list, as are some particularly tough bread or thick pasta and any form of gum. In general, any food that risks getting stuck in braces, or worse, pulling off a bracket, counts as sticky and should be avoided during treatment.
  • Sugar & Carb-Heavy Foods: Finally, foods that are stuffed with sugars and carbs pose a different kind of threat. While these may not immediately damage braces, these foods do contribute to the bacterial growth that causes dental decay, and during orthodontic treatment, that's a serious risk. Limit foods that are sugary, ultra carb-heavy, or acidic as much as possible to protect your teeth and safeguard your orthodontic success.

  • Contact Your Woodbury & Stillwater, MN Orthodontists

    We hope this list helps you identify the foods you should be steering clear of during orthodontic treatment. If you still have a question or two, we're always here to help. Feel free to contact our office to learn more about how to care for your braces during treatment, or if you're considering treatment, simply request a consultation online. We look forward to hearing from you!