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Foods to Avoid

Learn About The Foods That Are Harmful To Braces

When it comes to protecting your teeth and orthodontia, common sense will usually tell you what foods and beverages to stay away from. For the most part, though, the main categories to avoid include: hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar.


  • Hard foods can break or damage your wires and brackets.
  • Sticky foods can get caught in between braces.
  • Sugary foods cause tooth decay.

For a complete list of foods our team suggests you avoid in each category, as well as tips to better adjust to others, see below:

Hard FoodsRipe Green Apple With Small Leaf Coming Off The Stem

  • Ice (do not chew) try shaved ice or smoothies
  • Nuts (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Hard taco shells - switch to soft tacos
  • French bread crust
  • Corn on the cob (cut off the cob)
  • Bagels (cut or tear into small pieces)
  • Chips (hard and crunchy, try potato chips)
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Hard candies in general
  • Pizza crust (cut up into small pieces)
  • Raw, hard fruits and vegetables (We suggest steaming or cutting into small pieces.)
  • Meat on the bone (ribs, chicken) – Use a fork to remove the meat rather than possibly biting the bone.

Sticky FoodsDeep Metallic Purple Candy Wrapper With Small Silver Stars

  • Non sugar-free gum (if you are not wearing appliances like retainers or Invisalign and only chew for short periods of time)
  • Licorice
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Caramels
  • Starburst

Sugary FoodsCarmel Drink With Whipped Cream & Two Pirrouette Sticks

  • Cake
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy

A Few More Tips
In addition to avoiding these food groupings, here is some extra advice on what you can do to keep your braces and teeth healthy.

Consuming drinks such as soda, Gatorade, Kool-Aid, sweetened tea or other sweetened/acidic drinks should be greatly reduced.  Water is always the best alternative. Keep from chewing on foreign objects like pens, pencils, paper clips, and water bottles. Regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires. And, if any damage is found, immediately arrange an appointment to come into Stormberg Orthodontics for a repair.

Our Office Boards

Still curious about what's okay to eat and what's not? Check out the handy boards below, that we have posted up in our office!

Array Of Orthodontist Approved Snacks & Candy

Array Of Orthodontist Disapproved Snacks & Candy

It is a lot to remember, we know, but the more you stick to these guidelines, the smoother your transition to a straighter, healthier smile will be. To begin that journey today, book an appointment with us at Stormberg Orthodontics! We are located in the La Mesa area of San Diego and see patients from Santee, El Cajon and more.

Stormberg Orthodontics

  • Stormberg Orthodontics - 4333 Palm Ave., Suite C, La Mesa, CA 91941 Phone: 619-462-4462 Fax: 619-462-8267

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