Although braces have become sturdier in recent years, they’re not invincible. It’s important to prevent damage to your braces in order to keep your orthodontic journey on track. A big part of preventing dental damage comes down to the foods we eat.

Foods to Avoid With Braces

Certain types of food can damage the wires and brackets of your braces. Try to avoid any foods that are sticky, chewy, hard, or that have to be bitten into.

The following list of foods should be avoided when wearing braces:

  • Popcorn

  • Nuts, seeds, and chunky nut-butters

  • Sticky and hard candies

  • Chewing gum

  • Chips

  • Hard pretzels

  • Hard cookies

  • Crackers

  • Apples

  • Carrots

  • Corn on the cob

  • Bony meats such as chicken wings and ribs

  • Ice cubes

  • Jerky

  • Sugary and fizzy drinks

  • Hard bread, such as bagels

  • Thick pizza

Foods You Can Eat With Braces

Softer foods and liquids are recommended for braces wearers as they are less damaging to the hardware. In the first few days after initially being fitted for braces or after an adjustment, your teeth may feel tender and sensitive.

The following list of foods are recommended when wearing braces:

  • Yogurt

  • Bananas

  • Grapes

  • Strawberries

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Soft sandwiches like peanut butter and jelly

  • Pastas such as spaghetti, ravioli, and macaroni

  • Soft cheeses

  • Soft breads

  • Seafood

  • French fries

  • Salad

  • Cooked vegetables

  • Smoothies

  • Soups

  • Chocolate without nuts or caramel

  • Ice cream and frozen yogurt