COVID-19 update: We're responding in a variety of ways to support our employees, customers, network dentists, and our fellow South Dakotans. Learn more.

Best food for braces

Braces and Foods to Avoid

Anyone who’s worn them knows there are certain foods to avoid with braces, but those new to the hardware may not know what you can’t eat with braces.

Here’s a handy guide to what you can’t eat with wires:

Sticky and Chewy

Though it’s hard to resist tossing a tasty caramel or Starburst into your mouth, it’s important to stick to a non-sticky rule. Soft candies can break or loosen braces, which can harm the orthodontic process.

Sugary and Sweet

Whether it’s in what you eat or drink —sugar is bad for your teeth. The sweet stuff stays on your smile and creates enamel-destroying acid. This can lead to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. If you indulge in a sugary snack or drink, make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward. And once 30 minutes has passed, brush off the remaining residue.

Hard and Crunchy

Ice cubes (when chewed) and hard edibles like popcorn and pretzels are on the list of foods to avoid with braces. This even applies to healthier items like apples, nuts, carrots and corn on the cob. They can bend or break critical pieces of your braces, resulting in another visit to your orthodontist.

The good news? You don’t have to completely avoid all of these items, just change how you eat them so they are safe to enjoy. Have your corn off the cob and cut apples and carrots into smaller, easier-to-chew pieces. There’s no need for your diet to suffer while you work on your smile.

As long as you’re already adjusting your diet, add more healthy foods into your routine, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. A balanced diet—including drinking lots of water—will ensure tip-top teeth once you’re braces-free.

Stains and Dyes

Foods like Yellow mustard and turmeric can dye the bonding as well as stain the clear ligatures on your braces. The seeds in whole grain mustard can also be trouble to remove for some people with braces.

As long as you’re already adjusting your diet, add more healthy foods into your routine, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. A balanced diet—including drinking lots of water—will ensure tip-top teeth once you’re braces-free.