The goal of wearing braces is simple: to straighten your teeth and give you a picture perfect smile. They have amazing benefits, but they can also come with their disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that people who wear metal alignment devices are more than likely prohibited from eating some foods. Remembering all of the different foods to avoid can be quite overwhelming. Luckily, here is an FAQ of the main foods you should avoid when wearing braces.


Can I Chew Gum with Braces?

This is a given for most people who wear teeth alignment devices. Many people who chew gum while having these devices in their mouth are subject to spending hours upon hours picking the gums out of the metal pieces. Not only is this process annoying, any missed pieces of gum can lodge itself between the metal and teeth and prevent proper cleaning of certain areas of the teeth, making your teeth more susceptible to an increased amount of germs in the mouth. Chewing gum and Invisalign also do not work well together as the gum will stick to the aligners. Chewing gum with metal in your mouth will not make your orthodontist happy.

Can I Eat Apples with Braces?

Apples are extremely healthy and were at one point even said to be good for dental health. However, whole apples are not ideal for people who require teeth straighteners as they are too hard on the teeth. Consider the following alterations to make apples safer to eat:

  • Coring and dicing –  The smaller the apple chunks, the less likely that damage will be done to your teeth.
  • Shaving the apple
  • Bake the apples – Ideal for a sweet, healthy apple treat.

No matter which way you choose to eat the apple, always enjoy your apple by eating it in the safest way possible.

Can I Eat Beef Jerky with Braces?

Beef Jerky is a simple, favorite snack among many people, however, they are just not a good snack for people who wear teeth alignment devices. Simply put, the texture is just too rough on the teeth for them to be safe. Eating beef jerky can cause bands to snap, leading to unwanted visits to the orthodontist.

Can I Eat Caramel or Chewy Candy with Braces?

Along the same principle of avoiding bubble gum, it is advised that one who wears metal aligners on his or her teeth should avoid eating caramel or chewy candies as well. Like gum, these foods can get extremely messy and annoying to clean out. The sugar in these treats can also become very sticky and difficult to brush away.

Can I Eat Popcorn with Braces?

Going to the movies just got a little less exciting. Those who wear metal aligners are advised not to eat popcorn. Although the white, puffy parts of the popcorn don’t seem to pose too much of a threat, there are parts of a cooked popcorn kernel that do pose a threat are difficult to avoid. The “shelling” (as some would like to call them) of a popcorn kernel can easily get stuck between the wire and the brackets and it is nearly impossible to remove. Also, on the off chance that you accidentally chew one of the uncooked popcorn kernels that normally appear in every batch, you could risk breaking the wire. Therefore, this is a snack you may be better off avoiding.

Can I Eat Meat on the Bone with Braces?

The meat itself is actually great to eat with metal aligners; it is the actual bone that becomes problematic. The bone in meat is another hard surface to avoid as chewing on it could potentially cause damage to the wires on your teeth. When eating meat on the bone, remember to remove the meat off of the bone and dispose of the bone for safer consumption.

Can I Eat Raw Vegetables with Braces?

This is not an excuse to throw away the veggies. One may find it extremely confusing to think that vegetables can be dangerous to a demographic of people, but yes, raw vegetables are dangerous to the teeth of people who wear metal aligners. This is essentially because of the hard texture of raw vegetables; it can be damaging to the wire on one’s teeth. To make these vegetables safer, consider boiling or baking them first to make them a little softer.

Can I Eat Hard Cookies with Braces?

You may not be surprised by this entry considering that most foods with such a high sugar content prove to be dangerous for people who were metal teeth aligners. However, cookies are actually safe to eat, as long as they are not hard. Soften your cookies by dipping them in milk. Not only are you making better decisions for your dental health this way, you are also indulging in a classic treat!

Can I Eat Pizza Crust with Braces?

This may not be disappointing if you happen to be one of the many people who tend to discard the pizza crust after eating the pizza. Still the fact remains: pizza crust is one of the many things that can potentially damage metal teeth alignment devices. Pizza crust is very chewy, which can lead to bent wires and popped brackets.

Call Papandreas Orthodontics to Schedule Your First Orthodontic Appointment

Dr. Samuel Papandreas provides expert orthodontic care for adults, teenagers and children at his facilities in:

• Brunswick, Ohio
• North Royalton, Ohio

His patients are fitted with customized orthodontic devices that include:

• Braces – color-matching ceramic or metal devices
• Retainers – worn at night when your braces are removed
• Invisalign aligners – clear plastic devices
• Palatal expanders – worn before your orthodontic treatment begins

You can schedule an appointment with Papandreas Orthodontics to learn about the best type of orthodontic treatment for you and your children to improve your smile correct your dental bite.

Papandreas Orthodontics
3511 Center Road, Suite B
Brunswick, OH 44212
tel: 330-558-9092


14200 Ridge Rd
North Royalton, OH 44133
tel: 440-582-8585

Are there foods I can’t eat with braces?