Foods to Avoid

Once your braces are on, it’s important to do everything you can to look after them. This will ensure your treatment goes smoothly, quickly, and you get the best possible result. It is important to prepare for and commit to some lifestyle changes that will help you take care of your teeth while wearing braces. So, what can you eat? Well here’s what you shouldn’t eat:

Teenage girl eating an orange slice

Sticky Foods

Caramel, sticky chocolates, chewy candy, gummy bears, taffy, gum, dried fruits, fruit rollups.

The three parts of traditional braces (brackets, wires, and elastic bands) can easily trap food debris and harmful bacteria. These components are also susceptible to damage with a significant amount of strain or pressure. For these reasons, we ask patients with braces to avoid sticky foods.

Besides the potential for damage, sticky foods can be extremely difficult to clean out of your appliance. These hard-to-clean areas near the brackets, elastics, and wire can serve as breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, resulting in tooth decay or gum disease. In other words, braces can put you at a greater risk for developing oral health problems, especially without proper maintenance. Sticky foods only increase this risk.

Hard Foods

Nuts, popcorn, chunky peanut butter, hard candy, cereals, corn, ice, hard taco shells, chips, beef jerky, pretzels, hard cookies, raw vegetables and fruits, crusty bread and meat.

Hard foods can also increase your risk of damaging your braces. Minor problems, such as a loose bracket or broken wire, can happen during treatment. Avoiding hard foods can prevent potential problems, and in turn, prevent an increase in treatment time.

These food restrictions do not mean that you should sacrifice nutrition or the joy of eating good food. In fact, it is important to eat well because good diet and nutrition is key to maintaining strong gums and teeth, preventing gum inflammation, and ensuring overall good oral health.

With a little creativity, you can still partake of many of the items listed above by tweaking their usual preparations. Here are some examples of modifying your favorite foods:
•  Enjoy thinly sliced apples
•  Steaming your favorite veggie until soft or using the back teeth only to eat small bites of crunch, raw veggies
•  Whipping up your favorite fruits into a healthy smoothie
•  Cut pizza up into bite size pieces and avoid the crust
•  Cut corn off the cob

We also encourage you to avoid bad habits, such as biting your fingernails, chewing on pens and pencils and chomping on ice.

Prevent Ceramic Braces From Staining

Try to avoid the following foods in order to prevent discoloration:
•  Beets
•  Foods with tomato base (soup and sauces)
•  ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, curry, balsamic vinegar
•  Cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
•  Coffee, tea, red wine, dark colored soda

Pro Tip: Making dietary restrictions can also result in better oral and overall health. Providing your body with essential nutrients is key in sustaining strong bones and tissues that are undergoing change with orthodontic treatment. Following a healthy diet is essential in protecting and preserving your smile.

Not Sure What To Eat With Your Braces?

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions. Call (978) 922-3462 to schedule your appointment now.


497 Cabot St
Beverly, MA 01915-2537


15 Main St.
Topsfield, MA 01983

Call Us:

(978) 922-3462

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Mon - 8:00 - 5:00
Tues - Closed
Wed - 8:00 - 5:00
Thurs - 8:00 - 5:00
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