Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces

Corn on the cob cooking on a grill.
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When you get braces, you most likely will have to modify some parts of your diet to protect them. Some foods can break the wires and dislodge the brackets. If this happens, you will have to immediately see your orthodontist to have your braces repaired as broken wires and dislodged brackets can rub on the inside of your mouth and cause sores. Abstaining from foods that could damage your braces is important to prevent injury and extended treatment time.

Hard Foods and Candies

Hard fruits, vegetables, snacks, nuts and candies are off limits if you have braces. You can eat fruits, such as apples and pears, if they are chopped up into small pieces, but biting into a fresh apple is not allowed. Raw carrots and corn on the cob are also restricted. Nuts, such as peanuts and almonds, are too hard to chew as well and could damage your braces. Tortilla chips, taco shells, hard pizza crust and pretzels are also off limits. Hard candies such as peppermints and lollipops are restricted unless you suck on them instead of biting them.

Sticky Candies and Snacks

You should not eat sticky candies, such as taffy, caramels and gummies, while you have braces. They can stick to your teeth and your wires and brackets, possibly damaging them. Other sticky snacks, such as fruit roll ups, can cause the same problems. Choose candies that melt easily and that you do not have to chew.

High Acidity Foods

Foods that have high acidity, such as lemons, limes and sodas, can damage the enamel on your teeth and cause discoloration. Once your braces are removed you will be able to see where the brackets were if you ate or drank a lot of highly acidic fruits and beverages.


Chewing gum and bubblegum are not allowed if you have braces. The gum can get stuck on your brackets and around the wires. Aside from causing a general mess that is difficult to clean, they can also damage your braces and possibly cause them to dislodge. If you used gum to freshen your breath before wearing braces, try sucking on a mint or brushing your teeth more frequently throughout the day.