Food and Drinks To Avoid

A healthy diet means a healthy body, healthy teeth, and a better result from your or your child’s orthodontic treatment. If braces or other orthodontic appliances are cemented or bonded onto the teeth, there are two main categories of food to avoid during orthodontic treatment: hard, crunchy foods and sticky foods.

Hard, crunchy foods can distort, bend, or break orthodontic appliances. Sticky foods can pull and loosen orthodontic appliances. Sticky foods are also very difficult to remove and clean from orthodontic appliances.

In addition, please avoid nail biting and pen or pencil chewing habits. In general, use common sense about the foods you or your child eats during orthodontic treatment.

Below are lists (but not all-encompassing) of foods to avoid and food/drinks to have much less of during orthodontic treatment:

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewing gum (all kinds, including sugar-free and non-stick)
  • Ice cubes
  • Hard pizza or bread crusts
  • Hard pretzels
  • Crunchy snack chips (e.g., Fritos, Doritos, etc.)
  • Apples (unless cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Carrots (unless cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Meat on a bone (e.g., chicken, spareribs)
  • Corn on the cob
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Granola bars
  • Frozen candy bars
  • Hard candies (unless just sucked on)
  • Sticky candies (e.g., Tootsie Rolls, Now-N-Laters, Jujy Fruits, caramel, Starbursts, AirHeads, etc.)

Foods to eat much less of

  • Candy (all kinds)
  • Other foods with sugar (e.g., ice cream, cookies, cake, pie, etc.)

Drinks to have much less of

  • Soft drinks (e.g., colas, Mountain Dew, Sprite, etc.)
  • Other sugary drinks (e.g., Kool-Aid)
  • Coffee
  • Tea (sweet or un-sweetened)

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