Foods to Avoid with Braces

Have or getting braces? Dr. Mary and Jason Sherbel of Aspire Orthodontics in Farmington Hills share six foods to avoid.

Having braces is such an exciting time! You’re on the journey to a beautiful and healthy smile, and with your help, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Braces require a little extra TLC on your part to ensure successful and comfortable treatment. This means changing some of your eating habits. Although we love seeing you at the office, following these six recommendations can help prevent additional trips to the orthodontist. (Use the word A-S-P-I-R-E to help you remember which foods you should avoid, and remember that this is only temporary. We promise— your smile will be worth it!).


Acidic and sugary drinks create a sticky film that coats your teeth and can cause white spots and cavities. White spots are areas where plaque has accumulated for long periods of time and where acids have diffused into enamel causing demineralization. The resulting white spot lesions on your teeth are permanent. It is best to avoid drinking these beverages during your orthodontic treatment to ensure the most beautiful and healthy smile!


Treats such as licorice, taffy, caramel, bubble gum, gummy bears, lollipops, fruit snacks and hard candies can damage or loosen your braces and wires. These sugary and sticky foods can also get caught in your braces, making it difficult to clean your teeth. Sugar left on teeth for prolonged periods of time can increase the chance of decay.


Avoid chewing on anything other than food! Chewing on pencils and pens and other non-food items can damage and break brackets and wires. Repairing your braces will require an additional trip to the orthodontist and ultimately make your treatment longer.


Chewing on ice can damage your brackets, wires and your teeth!  If you’re an ice lover, we recommend letting ice cubes melt in your mouth rather than chewing on them.


Raw vegetables like carrots can be damaging to brackets or wires when biting into them. We recommend cutting carrots into small, bite-sized pieces to avoid breakages. Other foods such as corn on the cob and apples should also be cut into small pieces. Damage to brackets or wires requires another visit to the orthodontist and can prolong treatment time.


Hard foods like popcorn, nuts and corn chips should be avoided during your orthodontic treatment because they can also damage or break brackets and wires. Popcorn hulls can also get lodged between your bracket and your gum tissue, causing inflammation and discomfort. 

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