Foods to Avoid

It’s hard to decide what to eat and what not to eat while wearing braces. We are here to help guide you into making smart choices when it comes to choosing what foods to eat. Foods to avoid include hard foods, sticky foods, and foods high in sugar. Hard foods may break or damage the wires and brackets and sticky foods may get caught in the wires and brackets. With braces, sugary foods have more places to hide and cause tooth decay. It’s much harder to clean sugar from your teeth with braces on. 

Along with avoiding certain foods, we encourage our patients to do their best to quit bad habits like fingernail biting, pencil and pen chewing, and chewing in general on foreign objects. Please check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets regularly so we can catch an issue with your braces earlier rather than later. If you discover a broken or loose wire, contact our staff immediately to set up an appointment to repair the issue.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:candy

  • Gum (sugar-free or regular)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:apple

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • French bread crust/rolls
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Pizza crust
  • Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Minimize Sugary Foods like:ice cream

  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

Only Once a Day:cup

  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar


There are going to be major exceptions of foods you shouldn’t eat that are neither hard nor sticky. Popcorn is a big example of a type of food you should avoid because it has husks that get caught under the gums and are difficult to remove with braces. Lodged popcorn husks can cause painful abscesses and infection so please avoid this food!

Contact Us With Questions!

If you are wondering about a certain food that may not fit in these categories above, give us a call. We are here for you every step of the way!