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Foods to Avoid with Braces

Adjusting to your new braces can take a bit of time. Knowing the right foods to avoid can help you prevent an orthodontic emergency or broken bracket. To protect your orthodontic investment, board-certified orthodontists Dr. Ruchir R. Patel and Dr. Brian A. Womble recommend a diet that’s easy on your brackets and wires, such as soft or smaller, bite-sized foods. Patel & Womble Orthodontics in McDonough and Norcross near Atlanta, GA make it easy for you to know which foods to avoid so that you can prevent broken braces or negatively impacting your treatment.

Sticky Foods

While you may love chewy treats, they can be detrimental to your braces. Sticky foods may cling to your brackets and wires, causing them to come off. Some examples of sticky foods to avoid include:

  • Gum
  • Caramel
  • Licorice
  • Starburst
  • Skittles
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Toffee
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Taffy
  • Lollypops
  • Now & Later Candy

Hard Foods

If you bite into something hard, it can cause a bracket to break off of your teeth. Dislocated wires or brackets allow your teeth to slip back out of place. You can avoid the unnecessary risk by not biting into hard, crunchy or firmer foods, such as:

  • Whole Apples or Pears
  • Bagels
  • Beef Jerky
  • Chips
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Crunchy Taco Shells
  • Firm Bread or Rolls
  • Fruits with Large Pits or Seeds
  • Dried Fruit or Roll Ups
  • Gummy Bears
  • Ice
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Meat Still on the Bone
  • Peanuts or Tree Nuts
  • Pizza Crust
  • Popcorn Kernels
  • Raw Carrots

Foods with Sugar

While sugar isn’t inherently problematic to your braces, it can hide in areas around your brackets or wires that are difficult to clean. Once your braces come off, you may have white circles or spots left on your teeth where the sugar tried to form a cavity. Since it is more difficult to keep your smile clean when you wear braces, you should limit your sugar intake from foods such as:

  • Sports Drinks
  • Sodas (including diet)
  • Cookies and Pastries
  • Candy
  • Ice Cream

Highly Acidic Foods

Naturally occurring acids in certain types of food can cause your brackets or appliances to fall off of your teeth. They can also erode your tooth enamel, causing unsightly discoloration or sensitivity. If you do eat something acidic, it’s best to rinse your mouth with water immediately after the meal. Some acidic foods that you need to be aware of include:

  • Tomatoes, ketchup and spaghetti sauce
  • Lemons and Limes
  • Sodas (including diet)

Foods to Limit

Some treats or beverages are okay in moderation, as long as you practice good oral hygiene. If you do splurge on the following foods, try to limit them to no more than once a day:

  • Sodas (including diet)
  • Sports Drinks
  • Sweet Tea
  • Kool-Aid
  • Juice
  • Chocolate Milk

Protect Your Orthodontic Investment

Avoiding certain foods and practicing good oral hygiene can keep your teeth healthy while you’re wearing braces. Be sure to contact Dr. Ruchir R. Patel or Dr. Brian A. Womble of Patel & Womble Orthodontics if your braces become damaged at any time during the course of your treatment. Knowing which foods to avoid can help you prevent an orthodontic emergency. If you do need help right away, our board-certified orthodontists are here to help. Be sure to ask about our dental financing options available through CareCredit® and OrthoFi.

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420 McDonough Parkway
McDonough, GA 30253
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5635 Peachtree Parkway, Ste 200
Norcross, GA 30092
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