When you are wearing braces, it is very important to care for them properly. Although they are strong enough to move your smile, they are not strong enough to hold up to a crunchy apple or sticky caramel treat.

For the first couple of days after your braces have been placed, it is best for you to eat soft foods. Avoid any foods that are tough such as certain meats, breads and vegetable. It is important to keep in mind that you need to protect your braces and orthodontic appliances when you are selecting foods to eat.


No biting and tearing with your front teeth while you have braces on. Use your fork and knife or fingers to tear foods into small bite size pieces. Hard foods such as pizza crust, hard rolls, pretzels, bagels, chips, beef jerky and raw carrots can break, damage or knock off your brackets and bend your wires. Everything should be cut into the smallest piece possible. Corn should be cut off the cob. Meats should be cut off the bone. Apples should be cut into small pieces and chewed with the back teeth.

Avoid popcorn, nuts and seeds because they can get wedged in your gums and they do not dissolve so they can become very irritating and uncomfortable.

Sticky foods such as gum, licorice, Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Tootsie Rolls, caramels and Starburst can pull off the brackets and loosen the glue. Excess sugar should be avoided during treatment to reduce the risk of cavities and decalcification marks, also known as the white spots or scars that may appear on the teeth during orthodontic treatment from poor brushing and sugar exposure.

Chewing on pens, pencils, ice and fingernails should be avoided because they can break the braces.


Don’t get discouraged! While it seems like a long list of foods you can’t eat with braces, there is an equally long list of foods you CAN eat with braces:

Dairy- pudding, yogurt, soft cheeses

Breads- Sliced lunch bread, soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins

Grains- Noodles, pasta, rice

Meats/poultry- chicken, meatballs, lunch meats

Seafood- Fish without bones, tuna, salmon, crab, and crab cakes

Vegetables- Mashed potatoes, peas, yams, steamed spinach, beans

Fruits- Applesauce, bananas, fruit juice

Treats- Ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, Jell-O, cake

Other- Eggs, hot dogs, hamburgers, chili, beans, and much more

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at (631) 886-3141.