Eating With Braces Dos And Dont’s

Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

We know it’s not fun when one of your favorite snacks—such as hard candy—is suddenly off the menu! But eating right while you have braces will make a big difference in avoiding emergencies or setbacks. Since navigating through the “Dos” and “Dont’s” can be confusing, we’d like to share a few rules of thumb.

For the most part, foods that are bad for your braces are the same foods that are bad for your teeth. But right now, you have to be more careful than usual since tooth decay is trickier to care for while you’re wearing braces. If you’re wondering if a particular food item is okay, ask yourself the following questions:

1. How long will it be in my teeth?

  • Things you suck on, like hard candies, are in your mouth for a long time, even if they’re not stuck in your teeth. Not good.
  • Chewy things like taffy, caramels, or gummies get stuck in your teeth. And don’t forget dried fruit. It’s not candy, but it’s still sticky and sugary.

2. How much acid and sugar is there?

Sugary and acidic things are always bad for your teeth because they can cause wear and decay. The biggest sugar/acid combination is found in sodas and energy drinks. But keep an eye on the labels of other things you eat like granola bars and cereals. Sugar is hidden in even the most harmless-looking things.

3. Will it do damage to brackets and wires because it’s…

  • Large: Things like apples or corn on the cob—things you just can’t tackle in one bite—need to be cut up.
  • Tough: If you have to bite, then tug… That’s not good. (i.e. jerky or hard pizza crust)
  • Hard: Jordan almonds and corn nuts can spell disaster for your brackets. Even raw vegetables can be risky—try them steamed instead.

There are lots of great options

Now, all of these cautions do not mean that you have to live on watered-down protein shakes for the rest of your time in braces! If you’re at a loss for good food ideas.

What’s you favorite braces-friendly food or recipe? Do you have any questions about which foods work with braces and which don’t? It’s easy to ask us in a question below or on our Facebook page.

Thanks for the trust you place in our practice. We appreciate you!

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2 responses to “Eating With Braces Dos And Dont’s”

  1. Brenda C Freiheit says:


    My daughter Sophia would like to know whether she can eat Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (Oats ‘n Honey) flavor. She insists they will be safe. I was worried that the honey would be a little sticky, and the pressed oats hard. She googled “Can you eat granola bars with braces on” (which is from and found where someone said it would be OK to eat. I said that was the opinion of a braces wearer, and not the opinion of an orthodontist/dentist. What are your thoughts?

    Brenda Freiheit

  2. Susan says:

    My daughter loves those granola bars , but her orthodontist said that they are too chewy and would get stuck inside her braces . Anyways it is more up to you, but 95% of websites I’ve been on say that it isn’t ok.

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