Foods to Avoid

What Foods Can I Not Eat With Braces?

Wondering what foods to avoid while wearing braces? We’re sure you’ve heard from others about the laundry list of food items to avoid. However, getting treated with braces does not have to be so restrictive to your lifestyle. Here at Wiregrass Orthodontic Specialists, we offer a variety of orthodontic treatments that require just a few lifestyle adjustments. The biggest change is usually the diet. 

What Foods Do I Eat When I First Get Braces

On the first day after getting braces, you should stick to soft foods. Eating a juicy steak or a healthy carrot sounds delicious, but should be avoided at this time. Your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for a few days, so protecting your orthodontic appliances when you eat is important. As time goes on, you’ll be able to re-introduce such as raw vegetables and such back into your diet. 

Why Do I Have to Avoid Certain Foods While Wearing Braces? 

If you're getting treated with braces, your Dothan orthodontist has probably told you that you need to avoid any foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky, gooey, or filled with sugar. Wondering why? Hard, crunchy foods carry a risk of damaging or breaking off your brackets and wires, while sticky foods, on the other hand, run the risk of getting stuck underneath the archwire or around brackets. 

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid with Braces

If you're getting braces from our Dothan orthodontic office, monitoring your diet and avoiding certain foods is one of the most important steps you can take to support successful treatment. Keep your braces safe by avoiding hard foods like these:

  • Nuts
  • Chips
  • Bread with a hard crust, like Dutch Crunch
  • Jolly ranchers & other hard candies
  • Lollipops
  • Hard pizza crust
  • Corn on the cob
  • Ice
  • Uncooked hard vegetables like carrots

Some of these foods, like carrots or apples, are okay to eat if cut into small, bite-size pieces. Just use caution, and remember that the integrity of your braces always comes first.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid with Braces

Sticky, chewy sweets like caramel, fudges and toffee can also cause wire damage and loosen brackets. Here are a few of the kinds of sticky foods you should avoid:

  • Tootsie rolls
  • Caramels
  • Toffee, both hard and saltwater
  • Starburst & Skittles
  • Gum (even sugar-free)
  • Licorice

Why Do I Have to Avoid Sugary Foods While Wearing Braces?

While sugary foods don't necessarily pose a threat of damaging your braces, they do pose a serious risk of cavities. Sugary and starchy foods generate plaque acid and that can cause tooth decay and promote gum disease. During orthodontic treatment, minimizing the risk of cavities is extremely important. 

Avoid sugary foods like these:

  • Pie
  • Cake
  • Candy
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Sugary drinks like soda or sweet tea

Bad Habits to Quit During Braces Treatment

Finally, in addition to monitoring your diet, there are a few bad habits you'll need to break during treatment if you have them. Biting your fingernails, chewing on pencils, or placing any foreign objects in your mouth can do damage to brackets and wires. During your braces treatment, it's best to make sure the only things you're chewing on are braces-safe foods and water!

Contact Your Dothan, AL Orthodontist

Maintaining a braces-safe diet is one of the most important things you can do for your orthodontic success, and if you have more questions about how to keep your braces and your teeth strong and healthy during treatment, we're happy to answer them. Contact us at Wiregrass Orthodontics and schedule your appointment. We have offices in Dothan, Enterprise, and Ozark, so the path to your new smile is never far away. We look forward to hearing from you and wish you luck in keeping your braces safe during treatment!


Wiregrass Orthodontic Specialists

  • Dothan Office - 100 O’Brannon Park Dr., Dothan, AL 36303 Phone: 334-792-1000
  • Enterprise Office - 557 Glover Ave. #1, Enterprise, AL 36330 Phone: 334-347-6777
  • Ozark Office - 317 James St., Ozark, AL 36360 Phone: 334-792-1000

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