Vegan food. Healthy diet concept. Fruits, vegetables, pasta, nuts, legumes, mushrooms, shot from above on a blue background. A flat lay composition

When considering braces, many patients wonder what foods will be off-limits with braces — and why they shouldn’t be enjoyed. It all comes down to keeping your treatment on schedule and your braces in good condition!

Foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky, or very chewy have the potential to damage your braces, and when braces are damaged, your treatment time may be longer. In this blog, we’ll discuss what not to eat with braces, as well as foods you can enjoy with braces while working toward your beautiful new smile!

Why Should Certain Foods be Avoided with Braces?

Braces are made up of specially designed brackets, wires, and bands, and these structures can be seriously damaged by foods that are very hard, sticky, or chewy.

Your jaw muscles are powerful, and chewing hard or sticky foods like nuts, candy, or ice could dislodge brackets or bend wires. When your braces are damaged, they can’t do their job, and that could mean a longer treatment time!

What Not to Eat With Braces

It’s true that you’ll have to hit pause on enjoying certain foods while you have braces.

Foods that are chewy, hard, or sticky can damage your wires and bands or even pop the bracket right off a tooth. This damage can mean more office visits, more money, and more time in braces! The types of foods to avoid include (but are not limited to):

  • Hard candy
  • Sticky candy such as gum, caramel, or taffy
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Hard pretzels or chips
  • Ice
  • Crunchy vegetables or fruits, like whole apples or corn on the cob
  • Pizza crust
  • Bagels or hard rolls 

List of Foods You Can Eat with Braces

These are just some of the softer foods that you can still enjoy while working toward your new smile:


Some crunchier foods like apples can be enjoyed if cut up into bite-sized pieces. If you’re unsure if a certain food is OK to eat, let us know! Our team is happy to answer any questions about what is safe to eat with braces. Schedule your free consultation through our website or give us a call at 833-IOS-APPT (833-467-2778).