What types of food do I need to avoid while wearing braces?

Wearing braces can be a challenging experience if instructions are ignored, but proper oral hygiene and dietary habits can help ensure that the process goes smoothly. One important aspect of maintaining healthy teeth and gums while wearing braces is knowing which types of foods to avoid.

Here are some types of foods that you should avoid while wearing braces:

  1. Hard foods: Hard foods can easily damage braces, so it's best to avoid them. This includes foods like raw carrots, hard candies, and nuts. If a bracket breaks due to eating hard foods, it is recommended you call your orthodontist immediately to get it replaced or else your treatment time may be extended.
  2. Sticky foods: Sticky foods can get stuck in the wires and brackets of your braces, making them difficult to remove and potentially damaging the braces. Examples of sticky foods to avoid include gum, taffy, and caramel.
  3. Crunchy foods: Foods like chips and pretzels can also get stuck in your braces and can cause damage. It's best to avoid these types of foods or cut them into small pieces before eating.
  4. Sugary foods and drinks: Sugary foods and drinks can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease, which can be a problem for anyone, but especially for those wearing braces. Try to limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks while wearing braces.

It's important to remember that maintaining a healthy diet is important for overall health, but it's especially important for those wearing braces. By avoiding hard, sticky, crunchy, and sugary foods, you can help ensure that your braces work effectively and that your teeth and gums stay healthy during the treatment process.

NOTE: The author, Dr. Graydon Carr, is a board-certified orthodontist who is in the private practice of orthodontics in Chico, California with his partner Dr. B. Scott Hood. Dr. Graydon Carr was trained at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, California, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas School of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Dr. Graydon Carr & Dr. B. Scott Hood’s are experts in two-phase treatment, extraction and non-extraction therapy, functional orthodontics, clear aligners (Invisalign), and multiple bracket systems. This blog is for informational purposes only and is designed to help consumers understand currently accepted orthodontic concepts. It is not a venue for debating alternative treatment theories. Dr. B. Scott Hood & Dr. Graydon Carr are licensed to diagnose and treat patients in the state of California. They cannot diagnose cases described in comments nor can they select treatment plans for readers. The opinions expressed here are protected by copyright laws and can only be used with written permission from the author.