Foods to Avoid

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Good nutrition is important to your overall and oral health. Fruits and vegetables should continue to be a part of a normal diet while taking care to cut uncooked vegetables and fruits into smaller pieces. There are some foods that should be avoided because they may cause breakage and other problems. The vast majority of the following foods should be limited or avoided under normal circumstances:

  • Hard Foods may damage the braces by loosening the cement that holds the bands on the teeth, by bending wires or by breaking brackets.
  • Sticky Foods damage braces by distorting and deforming wires and by dislodging the cemented bands.
  • High Sugar Content Foods such as candies, cakes, cookies and soft drinks should be avoided because they can be responsible for decay and decalcification of your teeth. If it is not practical to brush after eating these foods, take a mouthful of water and swish before swallowing.

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

  • Gum
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

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

Minimize Sugary Foods like:

  • Cake
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Sweetened tea
  • Gatorade
  • Kool-Aid
  • Drinks with sugar


Eating these foods will loosen the braces, but you may not discover the problem until hours or even days later! Loose bands, broken wires and detached braces are costly and extend treatment time! For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods: they cause tooth decay and dreaded white spots. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided. Remember that loose and broken braces delay the completion of your treatment, often by months!

It’s important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, call our office to arrange an appointment for repair.