Foods to Avoid When You Have Braces

Braces will help even out your beautiful smile by straightening your teeth, but it might feel upsetting on those days when you’re staring at your food and wondering what you can eat. 

Rest assured that your braces will certainly be worth it, and that it’s possible to take care of your teeth and still enjoy a delectable range of food, regardless of the type of braces you have. There are only certain things that you need to avoid, which we’ll go through here.

Foods to Avoid When You Have Braces

You will eventually be able to eat everything you’d like, but as you get used to your braces, you’ll need to avoid certain foods so that you don’t damage the hardware. 

The main foods to avoid come down to anything really chewy, sticky, crunchy, or hard. For example, you can eat bread, but you’ll want to avoid something like a bagel that’s chewier. 

Anything caramel or that gets stuck in your teeth like popcorn is something you should avoid too. Of course, be careful of nuts and hard candies too.

This might not be something that you think of right away, but it’s best to avoid foods that require you to bite into them. Think apples, corn on the cob, or carrots. The front of your braces will generally be weaker than the back of them, so you’ll want to be careful of any big bites you make, and try to chew using your back teeth.

What Can You Eat?

There are so many things that you can eat when you have braces, like cheese, pudding, less chewy breads, and grains like pasta and rice. As long as you cook your vegetables, you can eat those too, and can enjoy seafood and meats as well. Fruits are a great snack as well, so long as you’re not biting into an apple.

And of course, don’t forget about some other soft foods like ice cream and milkshakes. You may not be able to have nuts and caramel, but you’ve never had a better excuse to enjoy a sweet treat.

Taking Care of Your Dental Health & Braces

It’s important to maintain your dental health even while you’re wearing braces, which might be a bit tough as you try to brush around the wire and metal. There are some basic things you can do to take care of your teeth though.


When it comes to brushing, make sure that you’re brushing regularly, which may mean brushing three times a day—once after each meal. This will help avoid damage to your wires and will get any food out of your teeth that gets stuck.


Just because you have braces doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t floss. You can still floss between your teeth, and should try a floss threader to get pieces of food out. This will help your teeth remain relatively clean, and will keep food out of the actual wire.

Regular Cleanings

It’s never been more necessary for you to go to your regular cleanings. Your dentist is the best person to help clean out your teeth and prevent plaque buildup while you’re wearing braces. They know how to take care of your teeth safely and how to keep your teeth clean long term.


Your dentist might also help teach you a different way to chew to prevent damage to your braces. This can include chewing with your back teeth, which are stronger and less likely to be damaged as you eat.


You can’t eat everything when you’ve got braces, but you can still enjoy a lot of good food without damaging your braces. Take care of your teeth by changing up your diet even just a little bit. Once your teeth are nice and straight, you’ll be able to go back to eating all your favorite food without hesitation soon enough!

Author: Dr. Alan Wong
Dr. Alan Wong is a dedicated orthodontist who loves helping his patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. He is committed to providing gentle, effective care in a patient-centered environment. Dr. Wong is also a strong believer in continuing education, so he can provide his patients with the latest and greatest treatment options.