Foods To Avoid If You Have Braces

Updated November 20, 2023
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If you have braces or are thinking about getting them, congratulations. You’re making an incredible investment in your health -- or your child’s health -- and will no doubt reap the benefits for decades to come. Straight teeth and a healthy bite don’t just look good but, also, can help boost your confidence and ward off a number of oral health issues now and in the future.

To make the most of your treatment, it’s essential to follow your dentist or orthodontist’s plans to the letter, including avoiding these not-so braces-friendly foods. Not only can they get lodged in your teeth and cause instant -- and lasting -- discomfort, but they can lead to cracking, chipping or more severe damage, to both your teeth and your braces.

Foods To Avoid


Popcorn is one of the worst foods for people with braces. Kernels can easily get stuck in your teeth without braces, so imagine what happens when you’ve got brackets and bands. And, if popcorn does get stuck, it can easily lodge in your hardware, leading to breaks and cracks.

Foods To Avoid

Gum and Sticky Sweets

Gum and other sticky candies are among the biggest culprits -- and one of the most common reasons braces-wearers wind up needing repairs. Even if you chew with your back teeth or are really careful, it’s important to avoid gum and sticky candy. Their tacky consistency latches onto brackets, wire and bands and can cause a lot of damage in a single bite.

Foods to avoid

Crunchy Tacos

Crunchy tacos, chips and other hard snacks are a big no-no while you’re wearing braces. Not only can they lead to damage, but these foods can easily get stuck in your braces which can be incredibly uncomfortable. Soft shell tacos, though, are fine, so always opt for that route.
Dr. Harrison and the SOS team has been extremely professional yet warm and welcoming on every visit. My daughter’s orthodontic treatments are coming along wonderfully & I’m grateful for the entire process.
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Foods To Avoid

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob – and fruits you bite into (think apples) – are another food group to avoid. Biting directly into these foods can cause your brackets to break and snap off. Instead, cut hard fruit into small, bite-size pieces and cut the corn off the cob before eating.

Maintain Your Braces with Smart Food Choices

While avoiding food you love can be a disappointment, a few smart swaps will keep you satisfied while ensuring your orthodontic treatment is as effective as possible. That said, know that this list isn’t foolproof, so make smart calls when it comes to questionable food items. If it’s very sticky, chewy or crunchy, you should probably avoid it. Got questions? We’ve got answers. Contact Southern Orthodontic Specialists at 901.853.9934 or 662.349.0777 to learn more and schedule your consultation.

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