11 Foods To Avoid After Getting Braces | Northeastern Braces

When you get new braces, you will also receive a list of foods to avoid after getting braces. Although having braces may not seem like much fun, the end result will be a perfect smile. Some sacrifices must be made in order to arrive at that goal successfully. But it doesn’t mean that you need to live on a diet of mashed potatoes, either!

Foods to Avoid After Getting Braces

New braces mean new habits. You’ll have to learn how to floss around the wires and brush around the brackets. The technician likely handed you a list of foods to avoid that include:

  • Chewy foods such as taffy and licorice
  • Sticky foods like caramel and gum
  • Hard foods like nuts and candy
  • Crunchy foods like potato chips

Other items on the list include apples, carrots, and corn on the cob. Crusty rolls and pizza too. But don’t despair just yet. You don’t have to memorize everything on the list.

Why Do You Have to Avoid Certain Types of Food?

The biggest reason that you are asked to avoid certain types of foods with braces is to avoid damaging the wire or dislodging a bracket.

Changing the way you think about foods will help you avoid the types of foods that will cause damage. Before you eat something, ask yourself, “Will this damage my braces?” If the answer is yes, you should not eat it. If the answer is no, you can indulge at will.

Another reason that you are asked to avoid certain types of foods is because of how braces work. While working to straighten your teeth, the movement may make some of your teeth seem loose. If you chomp down on something hard, you may shift a loose tooth into the wrong position. Not only is that painful, but it may prolong your treatment.

Foods You Can Eat Safely with Braces

Donuts. Eat all the donuts, except the ones with nuts. Skip the pecan pie, but the other holiday pies are just fine for you to eat. Other things that you can eat include:

  • Soft bread such as muffins and tortillas
  • Pasta and rice
  • Dairy products like cottage cheese, yogurts, and cheese
  • Most meats, including seafood and poultry
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Softer fruits

Pizza is a tricky one. Cheese pizza with a pan-style crust may be fine. The crunchy toppings like bacon should be left off, but softer toppings like pineapple, onions, and peppers are ok. To keep from using your teeth to pull on the pizza, it is also better to cut it into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Making it manageable so that you can chew mostly with your molars means you can enjoy pizza with your braces.

Aren’t Apples Good for Me?

Well, yes, apples are good for you. The restriction on apples mostly pertains to eating them whole. If you want apples, peel them and cut them into half-inch pieces that can be chewed using your molars. This limits contact with your braces. You’ll still need to chew carefully, but cutting up certain foods does allow you to eat them safely.

Carrots too. Cooked carrots are best, but if you really want raw carrots, cut them into smallish pieces. Bite-sized pieces will allow you to eat some of the foods on the restricted list, but please remember to chew carefully. The danger of potentially breaking the archwire or dislodging a bracket is still there.

What to Do If Your Break a Wire

The archwire, usually made of a stainless steel or nickel-titanium alloy, is pretty strong. It is capable of supplying the tension necessary to shift your teeth into alignment. At the same time, this little powerhouse is also fragile. Because it is under tension, applying pressure to it in the wrong direction can cause it to break.

Chewing an ice cube, biting into an apple, or chewing on your pencil can all cause the archwire to break. It usually happens at an inopportune time, so knowing how to deal with it to avoid further damage is a good idea.

First, check to see if the wire end is poking into the soft tissue inside your mouth. If it is, use a pea-sized ball of dental wax to cover the wire end to avoid cutting the inside of your mouth. If the wire is longer, you can use the eraser on a new pencil (not the one you were just chewing on!) to bend the wire away from the soft tissue. Then cover it with dental wax to hold it in place.

Anytime that you break a wire you should contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. They will advise you what you should do and when you should go to the office. They may ask you to take a selfie of the damaged wire so they can better assess the problem.

What to Do If a Bracket Comes Off

The brackets of your braces are bonded to your teeth. Although the glue is strong, it does occasionally break down enough to allow a bracket to dislodge. If this happens, don’t panic. Your braces will still work until you can get to the office to get the loose bracket reattached.

If the bracket is completely loose and you can remove it from the archwire without causing additional damage, remove the bracket and put it in a safe place. Take it to the orthodontist with you.

If the bracket is only partially dislodged, use dental wax to seal it to the tooth until you can get to the orthodontist for repair. Use caution while eating and avoid chewing in that area of your mouth. Remember that hot beverages will soften wax, so use caution and check the wax if you drink coffee, tea, or hot cocoa.

Mashed Potatoes Aren’t so Bad

If you love mashed potatoes, you can eat all of them that you want with braces. However, as long as you remember to avoid the types of foods that will damage your braces, you don’t have to live on them. A varied diet is better for your health and well-being.


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If you have questions about what foods to avoid after getting braces, please don’t hesitate to contact our staff at Northeastern Braces. Staff at both of our locations are eager to assist you.

Newburgh Office: (845) 863 0500
Bronx Office: (917) 801 3600



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