Eating with Braces

The following is a list of foods and drinks that you should avoid during your orthodontic treatment, as well as suggestions of things that you can enjoy.

What can you eat?

Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! If you’ve been wanting to drop a few pounds, the first week wearing braces is just your chance! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables.. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.


FOODS: (Bad)

Crunchy Peanut Butter
Gummy Bears & Worms
Anything w/Nuts
Jolly Ranchers
Jaw Breakers
Pepperoni Sticks & Beef Jerky
Pizza Crust & Bagels
Chicken on the bone
Soft and Hard Pretzels
Hard Tacos
Chips such as Fritos, Doritos, Tostitos, Nachos, etc.
Corn on the Cob
Sticky candy such as Caramels, Starburst, Tootsie Rolls, JuJu Bees, etc.
Candy Bars such as Snickers, Butterfingers, Twix, Milky Way, Heathbars, etc


Sodas that contain sugars and acids
Diet drinks that contain acid w/carbonation

Sugar Drinks
Citrus Drinks such as Orange & Apple Juice (acids)
Fitness Waters such as Gatorade & Propel (sugars)

Due to the damage it can cause your teeth, we ask that you avoid drinking soda. It makes NO DIFFERENCE if you use a straw, drink diet or caffeine free drinks, they all damage the enamel!


FOODS: (Good)

Mashed Potatoes
Bananas & Applesauce
Pudding, Ice Cream, & Milk shakes
Macaroni & Cheese
Oatmeal, Grits & Spaghetti
Jello & Yogurt
Creamy Peanut Butter & Jelly

DRINKS: (Good)

Crystal Light
Iced Tea w/Sweetner (no sugar)
Non-Carbonated Drinks
Any drinks w/artificial sweeteners


Tips: Pull or cut meat off the bone, cut corn off the cob. Fresh fruit, vegetables, Pizza & Pizza crust should be cut into small pieces and chewed on your back teeth. Avoid hard, crunchy cereals (flakey cereals or any that become soggy in milk are best).
Do not use “boil & mold” mouthguards – this could change the position of your teeth. If you need a mouth guard, please let us know, and we’ll provide you with one.
REMEMBER, this is just a guide. Always use common sense when choosing foods to eat. Breakage makes treatment time longer, and excessive breakage incurs extra fees. If something becomes loose or broken, don’t wait till your next appointment – CALL US RIGHT AWAY!

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new – corrected – positions.

Care of Appliances

To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.


It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Please, have a look at oral hygiene instrutctions.


If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.

Loose Wire or Band

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Emergency Care

As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or something sticking out that you can’t take care of. It’s important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help, when you phone the office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place.