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10 Foods To Avoid With Braces

June 30, 2023
10 Foods To Avoid With Braces

Getting braces to correct a misalignment of your teeth offers a wide range of long-term benefits. They may include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Improving your smile’s aesthetic appeal, which could improve your self-confidence.
  • Allowing you to more easily brush and floss your teeth, which can result in better oral health.
  • Promoting easier speaking and chewing.
  • Guarding against jaw pain, headaches, and other forms of discomfort that misalignments can lead to.

These are all reasons to move forward with treatment if a dentist or orthodontist recommends braces. That said, during the time that you’re wearing braces, you might need to avoid certain foods.

Common examples of foods you might be unable to eat while wearing braces include:

Hard and Chewy Candy

To optimize your oral health, you should already strive to limit the amount of candy you eat. The sugars in candy can increase your chances of developing cavities or other such dental and oral health issues.

Avoiding hard and chewy candies is particularly important when you’re wearing braces. Eating these sweets can put your braces at risk of being damaged.

Certain Raw Vegetables and Fruits

Fruits and vegetables may play a role in a balanced diet, but some of them, like carrots and apples, may be relatively hard when eaten raw. Like hard candies, these can damage braces.

Hard Snacks

Avoid eating hard pretzels, extra crispy chips or crackers, and other such hard snacks until your braces are off. 

Soda and Juice

Soda and juice might not damage your braces, but you should still limit your consumption of such beverages while your braces are on. Because thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth is challenging when you’re wearing braces, the sugars in these beverages could be more likely to cause dental decay than they already are.

Hard and Chewy Breads

Various types of hard and chewy breads can get caught in braces or damage them. Examples include bagels, hard rolls, and pizza crust. 


Some nuts are too hard to eat while wearing braces. The wires of your braces might bend if you were to eat these nuts during treatment.

Chewy Meats

You typically don’t need to avoid meat entirely with braces. However, you should avoid particularly chewy meats, like jerky. 

You might also benefit from cutting meats into small pieces. Doing so can help you chew them more easily and thoroughly with your braces on.


Chewing gum can be quite the hassle for someone with braces! Along with getting caught in braces, gum can warp the wires. Gum might also promote dental decay if it contains sugar. Guard against these issues by refraining from chewing gum with sugar while your braces are on.  Sugarless gum is ok to chew.


Do you often find yourself chewing on ice in your beverages? Try to put a stop to this habit when wearing braces. Patients often don’t realize that chewing ice is among the most common causes of braces damage.


Don’t snack on popcorn until your braces are off. Popcorn can easily get stuck in braces and might also damage their wires.

Foods You Shouldn’t Eat With Braces: Speak With our Orthodontist

The above list isn’t necessarily exhaustive. Your orthodontist may provide more information about foods you should avoid while wearing braces.

Yes, changing your diet during the time you’re wearing braces can be a hassle. Just remember, the long-term benefits of correcting a smile with braces are more than worth this minor inconvenience.

Learn About Orthodontic Treatment in Las Cruces, NM

At Legacy Smiles Orthodontic Specialists, offering orthodontic treatment in and around Las Cruces, NM, we’re happy to thoroughly answer all questions our patients have about protecting their braces. If you believe you’re in need of orthodontic care, contact us online or call us at 575-522-1500 to schedule an appointment.

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Legacy Smiles Orthodontic Specialists
2701 Missouri Ave Suite D
Las Cruces, NM 88011
Tel: 575-522-1500 | Fax: 575-521-1529
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