What Can't You Eat With Braces?

What Can’t You Eat With Braces?

Team Food, Orthodontics

Metal and clear braces have come a long way since first introduced as orthodontic treatment. Brackets are now smaller, and both clear and metal brackets are remarkably durable. However, there are still certain foods that can cause problems for children and teens who wear full or partial braces. Here’s a look at foods your child should avoid if they have braces, along with helpful tips for enjoying foods you like, even while wearing braces.

Foods to Avoid When Wearing Braces

The reason certain foods should be avoided when wearing metal or clear braces is due to their likelihood to damage brackets or archewires. In general, chewy, hard, and sticky foods should be avoided. These include:

  • Hard candies and treats (jolly ranchers, lollipops, peanut brittle) 
  • Chewy candies (gummies, taffy, caramels, candy bars)
  • Chewy fruit snacks and roll ups 
  • Nuts
  • Ice
  • Chunky peanut butter 
  • Crunchy vegetables (carrots, broccoli)
  • Hard pretzels
  • Corn chips
  • Granola bars

Other foods tend to get stuck in braces and may be difficult to remove.  These include:

  • Gum
  • Bread
  • Popcorn
  • Seeds
  • Buns
  • Potato chips
  • Cheese puffs 

Other foods should be modified so that biting into them with the front teeth is not necessary. Foods that should be sliced and cut into small pieces include:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Most vegetables
  • Sub sandwiches
  • Hamburgers
  • Corn on the cob
  • Thick cuts of meat
  • Rolls and bread
  • Pizza (especially the crust

How To Take Care of Your Teeth While Wearing Braces

When wearing braces, it is important to brush at least twice daily and floss every day. Although braces make it difficult to floss normally, you can use a water flosser, such as those made by Waterpik. You may also want to use a “Christmas tree brush” otherwise known as an interdental brush for cleaning underneath wires. Floss threaders can also help. Ask your orthodontist for their recommendations for products that will make it easy to keep teeth clean and gums healthy while wearing braces.  

Alternatives to Braces

Some teens may be suitable candidates for teeth alignment using Invisalign. One of the key benefits of Invisalign is that the alignment trays are removable. This allows young patients to eat whatever they want. In addition, Invisalign allows for easier oral care as teens can brush and floss normally. However, Invisalign must be worn at least 20-22 hours a day to keep teeth shifting in alignment with the treatment plan.

What To Do if You Damage Your Braces

Accidents happen. Occasionally a wire may snap. A bracket may come loose. Bands may snap. If any of these happen, call your orthodontist and explain the problem. Most orthodontists will tell you to bring your child or teen in immediately, as many of these problems are quick fixes. It is especially important to seek treatment for a snapped wire, as it can cut the inside of the lips or cheeks.  

Braces and Invisalign for Children and Teens in New Jersey

Tender Smiles 4 Kids provides complete general dentistry, and orthodontics to infants, toddlers, children, tweens, and teens. To schedule an orthodontic appointment, contact us today.

Freehold Office: 732-625-8080

North Brunswick Office: 732-249-1010

Edison Office: 732-549-3773

Roselle Office: 908-245-5556

Ocean Office: 732-774-7008