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Top 7 Foods to Avoid with Braces

Do you have braces and want to know what kinds of food you should avoid? You’re in luck! We’ve got a list of the top 7 foods you need to avoid. 

Braces require extra care, and eating certain types of food can do more harm than good and possibly lead to unfavorable results. Fret not—we’ll explain how and why each item on our list needs to be avoided so your braces’ treatment time is short and free from complications. Read on for all the must-know tips about which foods are off-limits!

Hard candy

Hard candy is one of the worst offenders and should be avoided at all costs, as it poses a significant risk to your braces. Hard candy can cause damage to your braces by breaking brackets or wires. Even worse, the sticky residue left behind by hard candy can be hard to remove, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

It’s important to note that not all hard candy is the same. Some sweets are harder than others, and some are stickier. The harder the candy, the more pressure it puts on your braces, increasing the risk of damage. Similarly, stickier candy is more likely to get stuck between your braces and teeth, making cleaning difficult.


Gum, in any form, is a definite no-no for anyone with braces. The adhesive properties of gum make it challenging to remove from brackets and wires, making it more likely to stay on your braces and cause irritation and discomfort in the mouth.

Chewing gum is also not recommended for people with braces because it promotes jaw movement, which can stress your teeth and braces, causing them to move or shift out of alignment. This movement can lead to additional pain and discomfort and prolong treatment time.

Moreover, many gum products are high in sugar, which increases the risk of tooth decay and other dental problems. Sugar creates an acidic environment in the mouth, which can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. Since people with braces are already more susceptible to tooth decay, avoiding sugary foods like gum and opting for healthier snacks is essential.


Nuts can cause a lot of trouble for those with braces. Although they’re a healthy snack, the hard shells can easily break your braces. When you bite down on a nut, the force can cause the brackets to snap or bend, and the wires can become dislodged. This can be highly uncomfortable and require an emergency visit to the orthodontist to repair the damage.

Another issue with nuts is their sticky kernels. These can get stuck between your teeth, causing discomfort and making them challenging to remove. If you can’t get the kernel out, it can cause further issues, such as decay or gum irritation. This can also prolong your orthodontic treatment.

Corn on the Cob

If you have braces, think twice before indulging in a summer favorite – corn on the cob. While it may seem harmless, the hard kernels can pose a real threat to your braces. As you bite into the corn, the hard kernels can easily break brackets and wires, leading to an emergency visit to the orthodontist. The cob can also get stuck between teeth and wires and cause further damage.


While it may be tempting to chew on ice to cool off during the hot summer months, it’s essential to avoid this habit if you have braces. The cold, hard surface of ice can cause damage to the delicate brackets and wires that make up your orthodontic appliance. Not only can this be painful and uncomfortable, but it can also cause your treatment to take longer.

Chewing on ice can also cause tooth sensitivity and enamel erosion. When you chew on hard objects like ice, you are putting a lot of pressure on your teeth, which can cause small cracks and fractures in the enamel. Over time, this can weaken your teeth and make them more prone to decay and other dental problems.

Sticky Foods

Sticky foods like caramel and taffy can be challenging to remove from braces, increasing tooth decay risk. Additionally, sticky foods can pull brackets and wires off of teeth, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Sticky foods can also pose a risk of pulling your brackets and wires off your teeth, which can cause discomfort and require additional trips to the orthodontist. It’s best to steer clear of these foods, especially during the first few weeks of having your braces.

Citrus Fruits

While citrus fruits are known for being rich in Vitamin C and other essential nutrients, they also contain high levels of acid that can bth weaken and erode your enamel over time. When you wear braces, the acid can further damage your teeth by eroding the metal brackets and wires, causing them to loosen or break.

In addition to the acidic content of citrus fruits, the seeds can cause problems when you have braces. These tiny seeds can easily get lodged between your teeth and braces, causing irritation and discomfort that can be difficult to alleviate. To minimize the potential risks of consuming citrus fruits during your braces treatment, limiting your intake or avoiding them altogether is best.

Get Braces in Johnson City, TN

If you’re in Johnson City, TN, looking to get braces, Local Orthodontics is here to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. We offer various braces options, including traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign. Our experienced team will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs and goals. 

Don’t wait to start your journey to a straighter, healthier smile. Request an appointment with us today by calling or visiting our website. We can’t wait to help you achieve your best smile!