Eating With Braces

Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Foods To Avoid

The following are examples of foods you should avoid. There are too many to list so choose wisely and if there is any question as to whether something is safe to eat, avoid it. Better safe than sorry.

  • ICE… Never, ever! Ice and other cold foods may crack the cement that holds your braces together. Even sucking on ice is out of the question since the temptation to bite it may become overwhelming.

  • HARD PRETZELS, BAGELS, HARD BREAD… Like the burnt crust of pizza, it may bend wires or dislodge brackets. CHIPS! ALL CHIPS… If it makes a loud crunch or snap when you bite it, avoid it like the plague.

  • ANY HARD OR CHEWY CANDIES… Anything hard or chewy poses a threat to your appliances. If you break them, you suffer the consequences.

  • BEEF JERKY, SLIM JIMS… Foods this tough should be avoided.

  • HARD COOKIES LIKE OREOS, GINGER SNAPS… Allowable, only if you’re a dunker. Softening them with milk makes them a less risky choice.

  • TOOTSIE POPS, NUTS, RIBS… Never eat nuts. Even if you had enough self-control to lick a tootsie pop without ever biting it, it’s unlikely that self-control will keep you from eating the chewy center. Lollipops are out of the question- especially Tootsie pops. If you must have ribs, go for tender baby backs and be extremely careful.

  • PENS AND PENCILS… This may sound funny, but next time you take an exam look around the room at how many writing utensils are being chewed on. It only takes one bite to knock your braces off.

  • POPCORN… The shells of kernels tend to lodge themselves between braces and gums, which can cause a serious infection.

  • RAW CARROTS, APPLES… Many fruits and vegetables are too hard to be eaten raw. Cook them first, or cut them into more manageable, bite-sized pieces.

We can’t stress enough the importance of avoiding these foods. Every bent wire and loose bracket has the potential to extend your treatment by at least two months. Think before you eat.

Foods You Can Eat

  • Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks

  • Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o nuts

  • Grains - pasta, soft cooked rice

  • Meats/poultry - soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats

  • Seafood - tuna, salmon, crab cakes

  • Vegetables - mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans

  • Fruits - applesauce, bananas, fruit juice

  • Treats - ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

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