Foods to Avoid With Braces

Dr. Grussmark Explains

If you have regular metal braces, there are certain foods that you’ll want to avoid until your course of treatment is complete. This will help ensure the process is successful, leading to the best possible results. Explore our guide to learn which foods to stay away from.

braces model smiling

The Worst Foods for Braces

Any kind of food that can get stuck in your braces or food that’s so hard it can damage your brackets should be avoided. Specifically, you’ll want to remove these three types of food from your diet: crunchy, sticky, and tough.


  • Chips
  • Cereal
  • Granola
  • Hard tacos
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Croutons
  • Ice


  • Gum
  • Chewy candy (Starburst, Tootsie Rolls, etc.)
  • Caramel


  • Jerky
  • Steak
  • Corn on the Cob

Non-Food Items

Some patients have a tendency to chew or bite down on something out of habit, but this can damage your braces. If you typically chew on your fingernails, pencils, pen caps, or any similar items, you’ll want to break this habit during your treatment.

Ask Dr. Grussmark

If you still have questions about the foods you should avoid while wearing metal braces, contact one of our three locations in Miami. Dr. Grussmark or a member of our staff will be happy to explain our treatment options in greater detail. For your convenience, we also feature clear braces from Invisalign which don’t restrict your diet in any way.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you eat in the first week of braces?

For the first week of braces, we recommend being careful with what you eat because you’ll need time to get used to them. You may want to stick to eating soft foods such as pasta, bread, pudding, soup, oatmeal, or yogurt for the first few days.

When you start to feel more comfortable with your braces, you can begin to add more foods back into your diet. You’ll still want to avoid foods that can damage your braces, such as very hard or sticky foods.

What are the best foods to eat with braces?

The best foods to eat with braces are:

  • Dairy – soft cheeses, pudding, yogurt, eggs
  • Bread – try to stick to soft breads without seeds
  • Tender meats and lunch meats
  • Seafood
  • Soup
  • Cooked vegetables and soft fruits

You’ll want to avoid foods with small parts that can get stuck in your braces, very crunchy foods that can cause damage, and sticky foods. After eating, wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to clear any pieces of food from your mouth.

Do braces change your face?

Braces can change your face to make your jaw more symmetrical. This can help your face shape to look better. The more your teeth have to move, the more noticeable the changes will be. 

Some people don’t notice much of a change in their face shape, but that’s often the case if you don’t need much correction. Sometimes, orthodontic treatment may include orthognathic surgery, or jaw correction surgery. This can have a very big effect on the appearance of your face.

Stephen Grussmark