Foods to Avoid

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Having braces or other types of orthodontic appliances requires that certain types of foods and drinks be completely avoided, greatly reduced or prepared in special ways. We cannot define an all-inclusive list of the foods and drinks to be avoided. However, if a food, candy or drink is hard or brittle, soft and sticky, or acidic, it is likely that it will cause damage to your braces or to your teeth. When the braces are damaged (broken wire or loosened bracket or band), the treatment time is usually extended and an additional cost may be involved. The best way to complete your treatment in the shortest amount of time with the best result is to watch what you eat and take care of your teeth and braces.

Some of the foods and drinks that should be avoided are listed below. Note, this list is not all-inclusive but serves as an example of the types of foods to watch out for.

Hard, Brittle Foods

  • Ice
  • Hard edges of pizza
  • Large pieces of raw carrots, apples or celery
  • Doritos or hard chips
  • Pecans, peanuts or candies containing nuts
  • Hard candy such as Jolly Ranchers, Life Savers, peppermint, Jaw Breakers, etc.
  • Hard taco shells
  • Chewy sour dough crust
  • Popcorn

Soft, Sticky Foods

  • Gum of any kind
  • Sticky candy such as caramels and taffy
  • Starbursts, Now & Laters, Tootsie Rolls, Gummy Bears, Sugar Babies, Sugar Daddies

Acidic Foods

  • Limit intake of carbonated soft drinks
  • Limit quantities of fresh oranges or lemons

The high acid content found in carbonated soft drinks and certain fruits can contribute to the breakdown of the enamel of the teeth. Acids produced by the bacteria found in plaque causes the cavities in our teeth as well the "scars" on our teeth seen after the braces are removed. Adding the acid from soft drinks and/or large quantities of acidic fruits can expedite the decay or "scarring" process.

Certain foods can be eaten if they are served in a special way. Fruits and vegetables such as apples and carrots should be sliced and eaten in small pieces. Fresh corn may be eaten if sliced off the cob.

Important! Keep pens, pencils, fingernails, erasers, etc. out of your mouth! Always use a mouthpiece when playing sporting events!