Eating With Braces


There are certain dietary habits that are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances as well as increase the risk of dental disease. Our aim is to achieve the treatment goals with as little appliance breakage as possible. This can prevent the number of unscheduled trips to our office and ultimately shorten your treatment time.

There are three main categories of foods to be aware of when eating with orthodontic appliances.

  1. Avoid Sticky Foods
    These foods stick to your braces and remain on your teeth for long periods of time which increases the risk of tooth decay and discoloration. Snacks should be confined to foods without refined sugar and be followed by vigorous rinsing if a toothbrush is not available. There is also potential for breakage to occur with sticky foods.
    Examples: Taffy, caramel, all sticky candies, regular chewing gum, etc.

  2. Avoid Hard and Crunchy
    Braces have been attached to your teeth with an adhesive that normally will withstand the forces of eating. However, braces can be dislodged and wires bent or broken while eating hard foods.
    Examples: All chips, ice, nuts, popcorn, pretzels, hard tacos, hard candies, whole fruits and vegetables

  3. Bite Size Pieces
    Some foods don’t necessarily need to be avoided, but they do need to be cut into bite size pieces so they don’t scrape up against the braces and break and/or bend them.
    Examples: Sandwiches, pizza, breadsticks, soft pretzels, raw fruits and vegetables, soft tacos, etc.

You are encouraged to chew sugar-free gum (not sugarless or regular gum). This increases the circulation around the teeth and can ease the discomfort sometimes associated with treatment.

Remember that after 3 bracket or band breakages, there is a $25 charge per replacement or repair. If you have any questions about dietary restrictions or good food choices, PLEASE ASK.