Ask About Our Flexible Payment Plans

Do's & Don'ts of Braces: What & What Not to Eat

Posted in Braces, British Columbia, General, Orthodontics, Tips & Advice

If you have braces, you're going to have to change your diet, but what can and can't you eat with braces? In this post, our BC orthodontists share some of the foods that are safe to eat, and what you can't eat with braces.

Eating With Braces

Although braces have become more durable over the years, you should still be careful when eating certain foods. If you are getting braces it is important to avoid certain foods that may cause damage to braces or that might get stuck in your braces and cause cavities.

Sugary and starchy meals contribute to the formation of plaque acid, which can lead to tooth decay and the progression of gum disease. Sweets that are sticky and chewy, such as caramel, fudge, and toffee, can cause wire damage and loosen brackets as well.

Below are some foods you should avoid while undergoing orthodontic treatment, as well as some foods that are perfectly fine to eat with your braces. Keep in mind, if you're unsure about if a food not mentioned is okay to eat with your braces, contact your orthodontist for clarification.

What foods can't you eat with braces?

In general, people with braces should avoid all meals that are sticky, firm, or chewy since they might damage braces or reduce the effectiveness of their braces' impact. Foods to avoid when wearing braces include the following, to name a few examples:

  • Popcorn
  • Nuts 
  • Sticky/hard candy 
  • Sticky/hard chocolate 
  • Gum 
  • Ice
  • Corn chips and pretzels 
  • Hard cookies or crackers

What can you eat with braces?

Soft food is the most highly recommended food for those who have braces since it will produce less risk to your brackets and wires. Foods that you can consume while wearing braces include the following:

  • Yogurt 
  • Soft fruits
  • Light crackers or cookies
  • Cheese 
  • Hulless popcorn 
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Pasta and other noodle dishes

If you wear braces you will want to avoid biting into crunchy food with your front teeth. Whenever possible, chop up the following hard meals into smaller pieces to make them more manageable:

  • Raw vegetables 
  • Hard bread or rolls
  • Hard fruits
  • Thin crust pizza
  • Meat and Burgers
  • Corn on the cob

Teeth straightening with braces can take some years, and any damage to the braces' wires or brackets can lengthen the time of your therapy. Make sure you eat things that are safe for you to eat while wearing braces, and that you take proper care of your dental health.

Keeping Your Braces Clean

To begin, remove any elastics, bands, or removable orthodontic components from your mouth and secure them in an out-of-the-mouth area. After that, fill a cup halfway with water and rinse your mouth with it. By swishing a tiny quantity of water around the inside of your mouth, you can dislodge food particles and other foreign objects.

Bear in mind the 45-degree rule when brushing your braces. Brush the bottom teeth slightly upward to provide access to the bracket groove, and the top teeth slightly downward to allow access to the bracket groove as well. The majority of the time, food will become trapped on the sides of your braces and in between your cheek and teeth. Develop the habit of brushing your teeth with a toothpick or floss after meals. This should make brushing more manageable.

When wearing braces, flossing is still feasible. To get behind the wire, though, you should use dental floss with hard points or flossing lassos. Additionally, you may want a toothbrush with stiffer bristles to avoid getting your brushes stuck in or damaged by your brackets.

Looking to learn more about caring for your braces? Contact our BC orthodontists for answers to any questions you may have.

New Patients Welcome

We welcome all new patient inquiries – no referral required – and there's no obligation.

Our BC Locations