Foods To Avoid With Braces [With Lists & Alternatives]

After getting braces, everyone gets worried about the food. So, what are the foods to avoid with braces?

You have to avoid hard, sugary, and sticky foods with braces because they can damage your braces and may cause tooth sensitivity and decay. Besides, stay away from acidic and sugary drinks, as they can also cause tooth decay as well as yellow staining of teeth.

Moreover, you must be more careful to choose foods during the first week of braces.

List of foods to avoid with braces

  • Popcorn
  • Corn on cob
  • Chips
  • Hard pretzels
  • Nuts
  • Sticky or Hard Candy
  • Sugary gum
  • Hard or sticky Chocolate
  • Sugary crunchy Cereal
  • Steak
  • Jerky or red meat
  • Ribs and bones
  • Certain ice cream or ice cube
  • Hard cookies or crackers
  • Raw and hard vegetables
  • Hard and raw fruits
  • Spice turmeric
  • Hard rolls or bagels
  • Burger
  • Hard crust pizza

It’s just a few examples. If you learn why can’t you eat these foods and which types of foods you should be aware of to include in your diet, you can choose a proper diet plan for braces.

Here, we have provided a list of foods that you should avoid with braces and alternative ways to eat some of your favorite foods.

Foods To With With Braces

Foods to avoid or you can't eat with braces

Let’s take a look at some foods that you should avoid while wearing braces and their reason and the alternative (based on the American dental association)


Popcorn is one of the most problematic foods for braces. You can’t eat popcorn because of the presence of kernels within it. Think about that time when you didn’t wear braces but the kernels irritate you.

Those kernels make chewing uncomfortable and sometimes get stuck between your teeth. You can remove that using floss or toothpick during that time.

But, when you wear braces, kernels get more area to get stuck. It may get stuck between wires and brackets or between teeth and brackets.

Moreover, you can’t even clean that properly. Now, if that remains inside your teeth or brackets for a long time, it may cause pain as well as tooth decay.

Because of the kernel, popcorn may be considered hard food. So, chewing popcorn is also risky as it can damage the braces.

However, if you still want to eat your favorite popcorns, you can find some alternatives.


If popcorn kernels aren’t braces-friendly, nuts shouldn’t be friendly as well. Look at the structure of nuts, they are small and hard. When you chew them, it may feel mild pain with braces.

Moreover, it can damage your braces. As they are small, they can get lodged between your brackets, wires, and teeth.

Again, you’ll face problems removing those nuts with braces on. So, try to avoid nuts like almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts.

However, you can try alternative ways of eating nuts with braces.

Steak, Beef Jerky, or Red meat

What’s the problem with these foods? You can realize it yourself. Just remember the moment when you chew the jerky or steak. It takes a lot of effort. It may not feel hard. But, your teeth feel the stress.

Normally, you can eat it without any issue. But, after getting braces, when you chew the jerky, that stress can dislodge your brackets or wires, sometimes, braces may get loose.

Moreover, with braces on, they can get stuck inside the components of the braces and teeth, which is difficult to remove.

When its debris gets stuck between your teeth, you can clean that easily when there is no brace. So, stay away from red meat or beef jerky during orthodontic treatment.

However, you can try alternatives like fish dishes, boneless chicken dishes, and braces BBQ recipes.

Get chicken dish ideas for braces.

Sugary gum

Chewing gum can be harmful to your teeth as well as braces, especially sugary gums. Sugar of the gums isn’t good for the teeth of kids.

With braces on, it may cause more damage. There are so many materials attached to teeth for orthodontic treatment.

So, sugar substances present in gums are hard to clean. These sugars help bacteria to form excess plaque and tooth decay.

So, stay away from sugary gums while wearing braces. However, some orthodontist doesn’t mind if you chew unsweetened gums.

These gums don’t prevent tooth movement, even if may stimulate the movement. But, any gum can damage the braces because gum is a sticky substance.

When you chew, accidentally it sticks with brackets or wires, you can’t remove it easily. Brackets may get loose or wire may pop out. So, it’s better to avoid gum with braces.

Raw hard vegetables and fruits

You may not be aware of vegetables and fruits while wearing braces. But, they can also interfere with your braces.

Hard and raw vegetables like carrots and fruits like apples can damage your braces. You have to bite on them by your front teeth and the front teeth feel the pressure.

This can lead to the loosening of braces or, popping out of wires. If you wear rubber bands that connected the upper and lower braces, they could be torn when you open your mouth wide to take a bite while eating the apple.

So, find an alternative way such as cutting them into small pieces during eating.

However, it’s better to take soft and cooked vegetables during orthodontic treatment. You have to make small slices of hard fruits to eat. You can also make fruit juices by using a blender.

Sticky or Hard Candy and Chocolate

When you talk about hard, sticky, and sugary foods, candy, or chocolate comes so quickly in our minds. When someone doesn’t wear braces, it’s not so good to take them.

Especially kids shouldn’t take them frequently. Now, if you or your kids have to wear braces, there is more risk. But, what’s the issue?

Sticky candies such as toffees or caramels adhere to the brackets, wires, and elastics. It’s almost impossible to remove that completely immediately.

And, if that remains on the teeth and braces, bacteria gets a favorable environment to form plaque. As these candies are sugary, it helps the bacteria more.

So, the braces wearer end up with tooth sensitivity, tooth discoloration, and finally tooth decay.

Sugary candies, even those that don’t get stuck and have to suck, may lead to tooth decay and sensitivity with braces on teeth.

These types of candies are often hard and sugary such as Lollipop, mint, jolly ranchers, candy drops, or candy cane. Since they are hard, biting on them may damage the braces and their components.

Sugary crunchy cereals

Many people take cereals for their breakfast. It’s healthy food but may not be so friendly for braces. You have to avoid the hard sugary cereals.

Because of the hardness, they may break or loosen the braces. However, you may take oatmeal in your breakfast that doesn’t cause any issue with braces.

Certain types of ice cream

Don’t be upset about the name on this list. You can take ice cream. When you feel pain after getting braces, you may take ice cream to reduce the pain. But, why is it on the list?

You can take plane ice creams, which don’t contain ingredients such as nuts or sticky crunchy candies.

The ice cream alone may not cause any problem, but those ingredients can damage the braces because of the hardness.

And, if they get lodged in the brackets and wires, you may develop sensitivity and tooth decay. The same problem happens when you crunch up your ice cube.

But, sucking the cube may not cause any issue, So, be cautious about the types of ice creams you take.

However, after getting braces, some people may have sensitive teeth. It may be sensitive to hot or cold.

If you have sensitivity to the ice at that time, stay away from the ice creams for a few days.


Chips such as potato chips, Doritos, Fritos, corn chips, and tortilla chips can break off and get stuck between the teeth and brackets or wires.

Some chips are sticky, which get to adhere to teeth as well as brackets and wires. Those broken parts of chips or sticky ingredients are hard to remove, even if you brush or floss your teeth properly.

So, you have to avoid the chips while wearing braces.

Know some alternative ideas for eating chips.

Corn on the cob

One of the most dangerous foods for braces is corn on the cob. You have to use your front teeth to bite corn cob. So, biting on the cob may result in the loosening of brackets and popping out of wires.

Another problem is if the corn on the cob gets stuck in the brackets or wires, which will be difficult to clean.

So, if you love to eat corn on the cob, you have to control yourself during the orthodontic treatment.

The alternative way is to cut the corn from the cob and then take it. However, you have to be careful of its getting lodged in the braces.

Hard cookies or crackers

If the food is hard, it won’t help your braces. Some cookies are hard and some contain nuts and other hard, small, or crunchy ingredients, These types of cookies may get lodged between the teeth and braces.

Moreover, biting on them from the front teeth can break your braces. But, you may take the soft nonsticky without having any problem.

One of the important things is, you must clean your teeth after taking these.

Hard rolls or bagels

Foods that provide stress to the teeth while eating should be avoided with braces and hard rolls or bagels are those kinds of foods. These are made of bread.

They may not seem hard but you have to give a lot of effort to chew. This may damage your braces. So, avoid these foods. Even if you take, take the soft one or make small pieces before eating.

Hard pretzels

Pretzels can be of hard and soft types. You have to avoid hard and crunchy pretzels so that they can’t damage your braces and their components. However, you can eat soft or a freshly baked pretzel.

Ribs and bones

Avoid the meat ribs while you are wearing braces. If you do, the brackets may get loose or fall out and the wire may pop out or cut off.

Biting on the chicken or meat bones increases the risk more. Actually, it’s a common reason for getting broken braces for those who like to bite the bones.

You may also have a fractured tooth because of that. So, You must stay away from that after getting braces.

Moreover, the piece of the ribs and bones may get stuck between the braces and teeth and you have to face difficulty removing that.

So, what you can do is take the rib meat that is soft and make the slices before you take it. With that, you may also take boneless meat.

Hard taco shells

Don’t take the hard crunchy taco shells as they can break the brackets or wires. However, there is a more chance of getting them stuck into the wire or between the teeth and brackets.

So, if you still want to eat a taco, you may choose soft varieties or you can take the burrito as an alternative.

Peanut brittle

You have already known why nuts and sugary candy aren’t braces-friendly. Peanut brittles are the food that has it all.

So, you have to stay away from that. Those nuts may get stuck into brackets and wires resulting in plaque buildup, tooth decay as well as broken braces.

Moreover, sugary substances present in this candy will also cause tooth sensitivity and decay, when you can’t clean the stuck particle of peanut brittle completely.


The burger is also bad for the braces. You need to open your mouth wide to eat it which may damage the brackets and wires. However, the ingredients of the burgers are often hard and crunchy. It puts pressure on teeth and braces and therefore, increases the risk of damage.

However, you can find an alternative idea.

Crispy Pizza Crust

You may love pizza just like me. It’s harder for kids to stay away from it. But, you have to worry, you can as there are various types of pizza.

If you are wearing braces, you can’t eat a crispy pizza crust. You may ask, why?

Tougher pizza crust can damage your brackets or wires may pop out, as it put pressure on your braces while chewing.

However, those crispy pizza crusts can get stuck in brackets, wire, and teeth. This is another way of damaging the braces.

So, avoid the crispy pizza crust. You should avoid pizza with sticky warm cheese.

However, you can go for a soft crust pizza. You can eat pizza with grilled cheese and soft bread. It’s ok to take it.

However, don’t make toasted bread. Also, don’t take a big piece of pizza at once. It may also hurt your braces and rubber bands.

Spice turmeric

People get worried about stained teeth after getting braces. Your teeth may get stained from braces because of many reasons.

One of them is your food habit. Those people who take Indian or middle eastern foods, you careful of that.

This food contains spice turmeric, which may stain the teeth as well as the braces. After getting braces off, you will find that something strange.

The places of teeth where you had braces are still white and other places are yellow.

Though you can get tooth whitened after braces are removed. So, we don’t say you to avoid turmeric in foods. But, you can use less turmeric in the foods.

Soft drinks and Soda

You should avoid soft drinks, hard drinks, soda, or sports drinks. Ingredients present within those drinks dissolve the teeth and over time cause yellow discoloration of teeth.

So, stay away from acidic and sugary drinks.

Types Of Foods To Avoid With Braces

You may be curious to know why you should cut off certain types of foods with braces from your diet. Let’s know the kinds of foods you should avoid braces:

Hard and crunchy foods

When you get new braces, you have to be careful of the hard and crunchy foods. These are your enemy during the orthodontic treatment, especially after getting braces tightened.

When your teeth take a bite of the hard and crunchy foods, they put pressure on the teeth. As braces are attached to the teeth, bonding between the brackets and teeth may become weak.

As a result, brackets may get loose or fall out. It’s one of the most common reasons for broken braces. So choose the foods that are soft and you can chew easily.

You also need to avoid those foods which you have to bite on using front teeth such as apples or corn on the cob. This type of food can break the braces.

Moreover, when you wear rubber bands that connect upper and lower teeth, the bands can get torn. So, you have to make small pieces of food.

Get School lunch ideas for kids with braces.

Sticky foods

When you take sticky foods without braces, part of them adheres to the teeth. You can clean that easily when you don’t wear braces.

But, while wearing braces, those sticky foods get more area to adhere to. Part of them adheres with brackets, wires, or elastics.

It’s a challenging task to remove that food debris completely with braces. And, if that food debris remains between the braces and teeth, the bacteria create an excess amount of plaque.

This leads to tooth decay over time. Sometimes you may develop gum disease. However, the risk is high if those sticky foods are also sugary.

Sugary drinks and foods

Cleaning teeth with braces on teeth is very difficult. So, if you take sugary foods frequently, there is more chance of having tooth sensitivity or tooth cavities.

You also need to avoid sugary drinks. This may also cause the same problem as well as tooth discoloration.

Foods and drinks causing tooth discoloration

Wearing braces may also make your teeth get stained. Choosing the wrong foods and drinks can lead to tooth discoloration.

Acidic and sugary drinks dissolve the enamel and change the color of teeth. So, after getting braces off, you may have stained teeth. Moreover, taking sugary drinks regularly may result in tooth decay.

Learn how you should eat with braces.


After getting braces on your teeth, you have to avoid sticky, crunchy, and hard foods. You are also required to stay away from sugary drinks and foods. Otherwise, you may end up with excess plaque, tooth decay, and staining.

So, you should take soft, non-sugary, and non-sticky foods to prevent foods from getting caught in the braces and reduce the risk of damage to braces.

Foods to avoid with braces on teeth