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Eating with Braces: What to Avoid and What to Eat

If you have braces, you know that eating the right foods is important. Your braces help straighten your teeth and eating the wrong foods can actually prevent them from working correctly.

Thankfully, there are plenty of “braces-friendly” foods you can still eat and enjoy.

Here are the foods you can enjoy, which foods to avoid, and some tips on eating with braces.

Foods to Eat

Eating with braces doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many braces-friendly foods that you can eat throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Some of our favorites include:

  • Soft fruits like bananas, kiwis, and oranges
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cooked veggies like carrots, green beans, and squash
  • Soups
  • Yogurt
  • Pasta

In general, soft foods are ideal, especially in the beginning when your mouth may be sensitive.

Foods to Avoid

Like how certain foods are easier to eat, there are some you should stay away from.

These include:

  • Sticky foods
  • Hard foods
  • Candy
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Beef jerky
  • Hard bread and chips

These foods can damage your orthodontics or get stuck in them, which can be painful and difficult to clean.

We also recommend avoiding biting your nails and chewing pens. These bad habits can lead to problems down the road. You should also avoid opening bottles with your teeth. Biting fingernails, “picking” your braces with your fingers or nails, chewing on pens or pencils or chewing on ice can bend the wires and break brackets off your teeth.

Limiting Your Sugar Intake

While sugary foods aren’t necessarily bad for your braces, it is important to limit your intake. Too much sugar can cause cavities, and we want to avoid that while you’re wearing braces. In addition, when you combine sugar with braces, sugar can get trapped in your teeth and lead to decay.

If you do eat sugary foods, make sure you brush your teeth afterward. And, as always, floss!

Soft drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks are extremely high in sugar content and are the number one leading cause of decalcification (white scars on the teeth) during orthodontic treatment. Avoid drinking regular soda pop, fruit juices and sports drinks high in sugar content during treatment. You may drink diet pop, but try to limit it to one per day at the most.

Tips for Eating with Braces

Now that you know what to eat and avoid, here are a few tips for eating with braces:

  • Chew slowly and thoroughly to prevent pain and discomfort.
  • Use a straw when drinking to avoid sugary drinks like soda and juice.
  • Cut food into small pieces to make chewing easier.
  • If you are uncertain whether you should eat a particular food, it’s best to avoid it.

Above all else, you need to give yourself time to adjust to eating with braces. It might take a little time to acclimate, but it will get easier once you establish a routine.

If you have any questions regarding eating with braces, ask your orthodontist. They can give you specific instructions and guidance based on your treatment plan.


Eating with braces doesn’t have to be difficult. You can eat many braces-friendly foods, and avoiding certain foods will keep your braces in good shape.

Adjusting to braces can take a while, so view this as an opportunity to try new foods and cuisines. With a bit of care, you can enjoy your orthodontic treatment and have the smile you’ve always wanted.

If you are interested in learning more about braces, Dr. Yazji Orthodontics offers free consultations. Schedule an appointment today to start your journey to a straighter smile.

About the Author Maria Yazji