Foods to avoid

Although some patients are able to eat or drink almost anything while in braces and have no ill effects, there are certain dietary habits that are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances as well as increasing the risk of dental disease.

Our aim is to achieve the treatment goals with as few disturbances due to appliance breakage as possible and to minimise the side effects of poor diet choices. Remember, teeth move their best in a healthy environment and in individuals with excellent overall health. Be sure you have a well-balanced diet.

Potential harm to your teeth and gums

Foods and drinks your dentist has suggested may cause dental cavities should be restricted while wearing braces. You should avoid sticky foods because of the increased risk of dental decay and appliance breakage. These foods stick to your braces and remain on your teeth for long periods of time.

If you have food or drinks that are high in sugar content, we advise having them with regular meals or at one given time of day. Please make sure that you immediately brush and rinse your teeth afterwards. Between-meal snacks should be confined to foods without refined sugar and should be followed by vigorous rinsing if a toothbrush is not available.

The following foods and drinks can be particularly harmful to your teeth while wearing braces:

  • Toffee
  • Sticky lolly pops
  • Sugar on cereal or icing on cakes
  • Minties, Redskins etc
  • Syrup and honey or pancakes and waffles
  • Lemons (citric acid in juice can dissolve tooth enamel if eaten too frequently)

Potential harm to your braces

Braces have been attached to your teeth with an adhesive that normally will withstand the forces of eating. However, braces can be dislodged and wires bent or broken while eating certain foods. Hard foods, such as nuts, hard candy, corn chips and even crisp taco shells can harm your braces and should be avoided. Chewing ice cubes can also be very destructive to your appliances. Some foods such as whole apples, raw carrots or celery are healthy snacks but must be cut to avoid damaging your braces.

Chewy foods such as caramels and even thick bread crusts and pizza bases can bend and distort wires, causing treatment delays and extra visits for repairs. Popcorn can cause harm in multiple ways. The husks from the popcorn can become lodged between the braces and cause irritation to the gum tissue. Unpopped kernels can shear or break off brackets as well as bend or dislodge wires. Please inspect your braces when eating certain foods that may become caught on the braces or beneath the gums.

Remember, if you have any questions about dietary restrictions or good food choices, please ask!