What Can You Eat With Braces?

A few facts about healthy eating while you are in orthodontic treatment


Please do not eat hard, gooey, chewy, or sticky foods!
Eating these foods can loosen bands, break or bend wires, and detach brackets.
You may not discover the problem until hours or days later.
If the braces are broken, they cannot move your teeth and this will result in a longer treatment time. So, it’s very important to look over this food list to see what you can and can’t eat. There are still MANY yummy foods that you can eat and it’s only for a few years, while you are in Top McKinney Orthodontics treatment!


Food for Orthodontic Thought


So stay away from things like:

  • Gooey/chewy/sticky – These items will pull off your wires and feed the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Suckers/ hard candy……You might weaken your bite and it gets stocks in your braces and wires..
  • Gum…… no, no, no gum will get stuck in your braces, even the sugar free gum is not good for braces!
  • Caramel candy…. Yikes! Stay away! They are WAY too chewy and gooey!
  • Starbursts…… Please do not eat. They are very chewy and not good for braces!
  • Tootsie Rolls…. Absolutely not, they will get stuck in your brackets.
  • Bagels…. Very chewy and gooey, not good for braces.
  • Beef jerky…… Tough as nails and too chewy!
  • Slim Jims……. Tough as nails and super hard to chew with braces on.


Hard foods

  • Hard rolls, Bagels…… Bends the wires and knocks off the brackets.
  • Ice….. A thousand times NO. It will completely destroy your braces and it’s not good for your teeth in general.
  • Popcorn….. Please stay away from regular popcorn. Please only eat the puffed popcorn, such as Pirate’s Booty or any other kind of hulless popcorn!
  • Pizza crust (hard)….. The hard crust breaks wires.
  • Nuts….. No nuts of any kind! They get caught in between your wires and gums and can break your wires and/or brackets.
  • Authentic Mexican Tortilla Chips and the like…… The hard pieces will break your braces or get caught in between the wire and your gums.
  • Pretzels (hard) or any hard potato chips (like kettle cooked chips)…… Bends wires, loosens bands, knocks off brackets.
  • Rib Bones…… Don’t chew on rib bones. They can break off your brackets.


Fresh vegetables, fruits and meat

  • Be sure to cut fresh vegetables and fruits, such as carrots and apples, into bite-sized pieces.
  • Do not bite with the front teeth! Use the back and side teeth instead.
  • Cut corn on the cob off of the cob.
  • Be sure to cut meat away from the bone.
  • Biting onto a bone like a chicken leg or ribs can break your braces.
  • Cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Never bite into a bone! Some meats may be extremely chewy. Please avoid eating really tough and chewy meats, as these can break off a wire or bracket.

Eating these foods will loosen the braces and brackets. However, you may not discover the problem until hours or days later.. “Surprise!” Loose bands, broken wires and detached brackets. All of which cause a longer Top McKinney Orthodontics treatment time.


And remember … never chew on pens or pencils

  • Keep fingers out of your mouth.
  • Limit soft drinks, especially dark colors (due to staining).
  • NO POPCORN (except hull-less)…… The little kernels get in between the gum and the band. It hurts like crazy and can cause an infection as well as make treatment even longer. You can eat the puffed popcorn that you can find at most grocery stores.

After reviewing the No-No-List a patient might think they can’t eat any fun foods during orthodontic treatment. The good news is that there are LOTS of things that you can eat while in braces!

Our Top McKinney Orthodontics team at Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics understands just how much our patients enjoy popcorn. Regular popcorn (like you get at the movies or microwave at home) is on the No-No-List. However, you can get hulless popcorn, such as Pirate’s Booty, at most grocery stores and big box stores. It comes in butter or cheese flavor and it’s delicious and a great alternative to regular popcorn.

We want all of our patients to eat a well balanced diet, including lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. We also know how much our patients like some of the more “fun foods” so listed below are some examples of the kinds of “fun foods” that are OK to eat during your braces treatment. Please note that Dr. Crise and Dr. Downs defer to parents when telling patients what they can eat. The kinds of items listed below are OK’d by our two Top McKinney Orthodontics doctors if these things are OK with your parents!



  • Ice Cream – Icees, popsicles, ice cream, regular and frozen yogurt, slushies and snow cones
  • Chips – Please do not eat any thick chips like hard taco shells. You can eat soft tacos, cheese puff balls and thin potato chips
  • Candy – Types of candies that are OK include Reese’s peanut butter cups, 3 Musketeers, Marshmallows Kit Kats and Hershey bars (NO nuts)
  • Breads – Crescent rolls, soft dinner rolls, slice of soft bread and muffins
  • Snacks – Pepperoni slices, cheese slices, cut up fruit pieces, cake, pie, cookies (soft ones), puffed popcorn and boiled peanuts

Helpful tip: Cut your meat off the ribs and chicken bones

The above are just a few items that you should and shouldn’t eat. The Top McKinney Orthodontics team at Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics is always here to answer any questions that you may have. Please ask us about certain foods, if you aren’t sure. If you do break something on your braces or a wire comes loose, please contact us right away, so our team can get you in to fix your braces. If your braces are broken, they aren’t working correctly, so this will delay your treatment time! We are part of your team and we want you to look amazing in the shortest treatment time possible. So, abiding by this food list will help you to reach your awesome Hollywood Smile as quickly as possible!

Click here to schedule your FREE Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics Top McKinney Orthodontics evaluation or call (972)529-9700 to speak with someone on our dynamic team!

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