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Foods to Avoid with Braces


Posted on 6/3/2024 by Greeley Orthodontics
A close up of a smile with bracesAdjusting eating habits protects braces from damage for smooth treatment progress. Although orthodontics imposes certain dietary restrictions, there are still plenty of nutritious and delicious food options available that you can enjoy without any worries. Learn which foods to steer clear of and helpful swaps to avoid feeling restricted.

Hard and Crunchy Foods


A primary category requiring caution includes excessively hard or crunchy items like nuts, seeds, popcorn kernels, crackers, pretzels, mints, and ice cubes. Brittle textures easily snap wires or brackets and get stuck irritatingly. Softer snacks with similar flavors and nutrients make suitable substitutes.

Instead of mixed nuts or trail mixes, opt for smooth nut butter spread on apple slices or celery sticks. Rather than croutons on salad, sprinkle softened breadcrumbs, crumbled tortilla strips, or savory granola. Choose creamy peanut versus brittle butterscotch for safe, satisfying, sweet cravings.

Sticky and Chewy Foods


Sticky foods make them notoriously troublesome for braces wearers. Sweets like caramel, gummies, and even dried fruit easily attach to wires and brackets, promoting plaque buildup and tooth decay.

To reduce contact with braces, slice fresh fruits like pineapples, mangoes, and apples instead of eating them whole. Replace gummy bears with softer jelly beans minus adhesive sugars. If chewing gum habits die hard, consult your orthodontist on suitable sugar-free options.

Extra Hard, Crunchy, or Chewy Prepared Foods


Use caution with prepared foods containing risky hidden ingredients. Check ingredient labels and actively avoid ready-made items containing seeds, dense whole grains, tough meats with inedible connective tissues, or dried fruits.

Go for softer sandwiches on gentle bread versus crunchy rolls and toasted crusts that can irritate brackets. Choose casserole dishes and soups over crusty pizzas and tacos for more braces-friendly meals. Adjusting habits protects your orthodontic investment.

Balanced Meals During Orthodontic Treatment


By adjusting your eating habits according to the guidance of your orthodontist, you can maintain a diet that is both satisfying and balanced during your treatment. Contact us anytime with food-related questions!

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