7 Foods and Snacks to Avoid with Braces

When you have braces, your diet plays a crucial role in the success of your orthodontic treatment. Certain foods can pose a risk to your braces, potentially leading to damage, delaying your progress, or affecting your oral hygiene. Understanding what foods to avoid is key to maintaining your braces and overall oral health. 

In this blog post, we’ll look into the specific types of foods that are best avoided and provide helpful insights on how to navigate your diet during your orthodontic journey.

1. Ice

Chewing on ice is a major no-no for anyone with braces. Ice can be hard enough to crack the cement holding your braces together. Even the act of sucking on ice carries a risk, as you might be tempted to bite down on it. To protect your braces, it's best to avoid eating ice altogether.

2. Hard Pretzels, Bagels, & Hard Bread

These items are often too tough for braces. Biting into hard pretzels, bagels, or the crusty edges of bread like pizza crust can lead to bent wires and dislodged brackets, causing unnecessary trips to the orthodontist.

3. All Chips

Chips, despite being a popular snack, are a hazard for braces. If the food produces a loud crunch or snap, it's too hard for your braces and should be avoided. Chips can easily damage the delicate components of braces.

4. Hard or Chewy Candies & Lollipops

Candies that are hard or chewy can damage braces. This includes lollipops, which might tempt you to bite into them, especially ones with chewy centers like Tootsie Pops. Such candies can break or displace orthodontic appliances.

5. Nuts & Popcorn

Nuts are too hard for braces and should be completely avoided. Popcorn poses a unique risk; the shells of the kernels can become lodged between braces and gums, leading to discomfort or even infection.

6. Ribs & Chicken Wings

Eating meats on the bone, like ribs or chicken wings, requires extra care when you have braces. These types of foods often require biting directly into them, which can harm your braces. For ribs, opt for tender varieties and try to remove the meat from the bone before eating. 

Similarly, with chicken wings or drumsticks, it's safer to remove the meat from the bone first to avoid any direct biting that might damage braces. By taking these precautions, you can still enjoy these foods without risking harm to your orthodontic appliances.

7. Raw Carrots & Apples

Raw fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples can be too hard for braces if eaten whole. It's safer to cook them or cut them into smaller, manageable pieces that don’t require excessive force to bite.

Eating Smart to Protect Your Braces

Adapting your diet while wearing braces doesn't mean compromising on nutrition or enjoyment of food. It’s about making smart choices that protect your braces while still maintaining a balanced and varied diet. 

At Hillam Orthodontics, we’re committed to supporting you throughout your orthodontic journey, offering guidance on how to manage these dietary changes with ease. Remember, taking care of your braces through mindful eating is an investment in the beautiful smile that awaits you at the end of your treatment.

If you're considering starting orthodontic treatment or getting braces, don't hesitate to contact Hillam Orthodontics for expert advice and care.

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Why Hillam Orthodontics?

Board-certified Orthodontists
Offices in Idaho Falls, Driggs, & Afton
3 generations of doctors practicing since 1966

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