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Foods and Other Items to Avoid


Our goal is to provide you with a beautiful smile.  This goal can be reached only if your braces stay attached to your teeth.  Some types of foods are capable of breaking your bands or brackets, bending your wires, and breaking the cement under your bands or brackets so that these leak and possibly cause decay.  All of these problems prolong treatment time and prevent ideal results.


A careful patient can eat a nutritionally balanced diet and still do no harm to their braces.  The categories of foods listed below are the types that cause loose bands, brackets, and broken appliances.  Please understand that this is only a partial list.  Please use your best judgment to determine if the food item falls into one of these categories.


Hard Foods

Please avoid all hard foods that crack when you bite into them, foods with hard centers, pits or bones. Remember, you should never bite into anything (such as apples or corn on the cob). You should always cut your food into small pieces before eating.


  • Ice

  • Popcorn (hard kernels)

  • Hard candies (Lifesavers, Jolly Rancher, etc.)

  • Bagels, Carrots and Apples (may be eaten if cut into small pieces)

  • Corn-on-the-cob (may be eaten if sliced off the cob)

  • Ribs, peaches, or anything that has a hard center (may be eaten if taken off the bone or pit)


Sticky and Chewy Foods 

  • Gum

  • Caramels

  • Taffy or toffee

  • Candies like Now and Later

  • Gummie Bears, Sugar Daddy

  • Raisins

  • Anything else sticky


Sweet Foods

Care should be taken to limit the intake of sugary foods and drinks.  Although they may not cause damage to your braces, they promote cavities.  If you cannot avoid these items, limit them to once a day or less, and brush immediately after you eat.  If you cannot brush, please at least rinse your mouth out with water.  Finally, drink all soda with a straw.

  • Cake

  • Pie

  • Ice cream

  • Cookies

  • Chocolate

  • Sweet drinks, soda, lemonade

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