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Foods to Avoid with Braces

At Great River Orthodontics, our modern technology has led to sturdier braces, but you still need to take special care to avoid certain foods that could damage your orthodontic appliances. Softer foods are often recommended for those with braces, especially after an appointment, as they are gentler on the mouth.


Read on for a list of food and beverages to avoid and limit while in orthodontic treatment.

Sticky Foods to Avoid

Sticky foods can get wrapped around your braces and appliances and cause them to break or come loose. It is important to avoid these until you have completed treatment.

  • Taffy
  • Starburst
  • Skittles
  • Caramels
  • Mike and Ike®
  • Now&Later®
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Gummy candies

Hard Food to Avoid

Hard foods should be avoided as they can break your braces and cause damage to your appliances.


  • Ice cubes
  • Hard candies
  • Beef jerky
  • Hard granola bars
  • Suckers
  • Hard bread
  • Popcorn kernels (fully popped is okay)


It is also important to avoid chewing on hard everyday items, such as pens, pencils, and fingernails.


Assortment of hard candy

Foods You May Enjoy but Must Cut into Smaller Pieces

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Dinner rolls
  • Pizza crust
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Taco shells

Recommended Foods

  • Yogurt and pudding
  • Bananas, grapes, oranges, and other fruits without pits
  • Crackers
  • Cheese
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Ravioli, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and other pasta dishes


bowl of fruit salad

Drinks to Avoid

It’s important to avoid consumption of high-sugar and high-acidity drinks. When the sugar in these drinks mix with saliva, it creates plaque, a sticky film that coats the teeth. Brushing removes plaque, but with braces and other appliances, it may be hard to remove it all.

  • Soda
  • Diet soda
  • Gatorade®
  • Juice
  • Powerade®
  • Energy drinks

Recommended Drinks

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Crystal Light®
  • GatoradeG2®
  • Propel®

clear glass of water