Whether you are new to braces or have had them for a while, you should know that there are certain foods that you cannot eat while you have braces, or you will run the risk of destroying the thousands of dollars worth of metal in your mouth.  And of course, you’ll probably have to where them for even longer than before, and nobody really likes a  bunch of metal in there mouth even if it is worth thousands of dollars (unless of course you are a rapper). For your convenience, I have compiled a list of some of the worst foods that you can eat with braces and what you can use to replace them.

1.     Hard Candy/ Nuts/Corn

Unfortunately, the harder the piece of food, the more likely it is to not only jar a bracket, but also chip a tooth.   You should be cautious around these snacks regardless of whether or not you have braces. Some of these snacks include:

  • Hard candy (such as jaw breakers)
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Corn on the cob
  • Ice
  • Pizza Crust

When a bracket is knocked loose it is not only painful, but time consuming and expensive to fix.

2.     Sticky Foods

Sticky, gooey foods can be just as bad or worse for the braces wearer.  This is because the stickier the food, the more likely it will get stuck in the braces and pull them loose.

Regardless of whether you use Invisalign or metal braces, you should stay away from:

  • Jerky
  • Caramel
  • Gummy bears
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Gum
  • Bagels
  • Tootsie Rolls

Of course, many of these are just not good for you in the first place and avoiding them can additionally be beneficial to your health.

3.     Candy/Sweets

Some of these foods have already been discussed in previous sections; however, it goes without saying that if you don’t properly take care of your mouth after eating sweets, your braces will be caked with sugar and your gums can become infected.

The smaller the food pieces the harder it will be to clean from the teeth and braces properly, which is just another reason to be sure to keep the foods we talked out of your home to avoid temptation.

Food Substitutes

Cravings are hard to ignore, especially when food you love has been yanked from your diet.  Here are some substitutes that will still cure your sweet tooth without breaking the rules.

Sweet cravings are frustrating, mostly because the super sugary drinks you are used to are hard to get completely out of your teeth/braces without professional cleaning services.  Dark chocolate is sweet without being overbearing and offers a great substitute for a sweet tooth.  You could also try banana bread when you want bagels, donuts, or toast.

If you are craving something salty, instead of reaching for the popcorn, which can get stuck between your braces and cause infection, try roasted sweet potato fries or wedges.

Other substitutions include yogurt, fruits and veggies (sliced or cut small) and water flavored with fruit.  These substitutes will provide you with a way to curb your cravings as well as a healthier alternative to the junk food you should probably stay away from anyway.

Hopefully this list I have compiled will aid you in your quest to a healthy and beautiful smile. If you can change your diet just a little, it will make all the difference in becoming a better you. Not only will your orthodontist love you because you haven’t eaten foods that can ruin your braces and cause infection, but you will also be much healthier as a result, and who doesn’t want to be more healthy?

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