Adjusting to life with braces can be tough. Your teeth and mouth might be a little sore right after getting your braces put on. Your tongue, cheeks, and lips may become irritated as they become accustomed to the braces. You may not want to eat much those first few days, but as you begin to feel like yourself again, you’ll want to get back to eating your favorite foods.

Young adult with braces holding an apple

Not so fast! Before you dive into your normal eating habits, you should know that there are a few types of food that can cause problems for people who wear braces.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

1. Sticky Foods

Sticky foods get caught in your braces easily and make cleaning them a challenge. It’s important to keep your teeth especially clean when you have braces. This is because food can get trapped in the wires and brackets which can lead to tooth decay.


  • Chewing gum
  • Caramel candy
  • Peanut butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Taffy

2. Crunchy & Hard Foods

When you eat crunchy or hard foods, you run the risk of damaging your braces. It’s not uncommon to bend wires, loosen bands, or break brackets as a result. Additionally, these types of foods easily get caught in your teeth. Like sticky foods, this can lead to tooth decay.


  • Popcorn, chips, pretzels
  • Hard candies
  • Ice
  • Raw vegetables

3. Chewy Foods

The biggest problem with chewy foods is that they’re, well, chewy. You might have a hard time eating them but you may be more successful if you cut them into smaller bites.


  • Bagels
  • Pizza crust
  • Steak
  • Jerky
  • Licorice
  • Gummy bears

4. Biting with Front Teeth

Avoid eating foods that you have to bite into with your front teeth. These will leave your braces a complete mess and require a lot of cleaning. Plus, if the food is hard enough, it could cause damage to the braces themselves.


  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Corn on the cob
  • Ribs
  • Chicken wings

Be careful with what you eat and floss and brush after each meal. Before you know it, your braces will be off and you’ll be back to eating all the chips, gummy bears, and corn on the cob you want! If you have any questions about the “braces diet,” feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.