What Is the Most Important Food to Avoid with Braces?

February 8, 2022

Approximately 45 percent of children will need braces to treat functional problems such as an overbite or an underbite.

How long will they need to wear them? It depends, but the average length is about two years. During that period, there are certain things that you want to be careful of such as the food that you eat.

Did you recently get orthodontic treatment? Want to know what food to avoid with braces? If so, you’re at the right place and we’ll be going over everything that you need to know about foods to avoid with braces. Keep reading to learn more!

1. Sticky Foods 

Avoid sticky foods such as licorice, toffee, caramels, granola bars, and gummy candy—they’re some of the worst food for braces. They can easily get caught between the brackets and wires and if left there, can increase your chances of tooth decay.

Similarly, you want to avoid gum (both sugar and sugar-free varieties). It can get stuck to the hardware and be very difficult to remove. Not only that, but sugary gum can also cause bacteria to grow on your teeth and that can increase your risk of cavities.

In some cases, the gum can also move the wires without you realizing it. If you do notice that it happens, contact your orthodontist right away as they’ll need to be adjusted.

2. Hard and Crunchy Foods 

Any hard and crunchy foods (e.g., nuts, hard candies, popcorn, raw vegetables) can damage the braces. More specifically, they can bend the wires, loosen the bands, or knock off the brackets. This is especially true if you just got braces or if you just got them adjusted.

There’s also a chance that food pieces can get stuck in the braces. Not only would that increase your risk of cavities, but it can also be painful, depending on how they’re lodged.

If you must eat hard foods, make sure to cut them into smaller pieces—that’ll make them less of a threat.

3. Food That You Bite into With Your Front Teeth 

Foods that are bitten into such as corn on the cob or chicken wings can loosen or break the brackets. In some cases, they can also bend the wires and if that happens, the bands won’t be able to pull your teeth into the proper position.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t eat them, though. You just want to avoid biting directly into them. For example, you can always cut them into smaller pieces and eat them with a fork.

Most orthodontists will provide you with a list of foods to avoid so you’ll know exactly what you can and can’t eat. With that said, you can always ask if you have questions (here are some questions to ask).

Knowing What Food to Avoid with Braces

There you have it—three types of food to avoid with braces. If anything, it’s just a small adjustment that you need to make to your diet. It might be a bit of a hassle, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

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