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Foods You Should Avoid Eating If You Have Braces

Getting braces on your teeth will allow you to get the straight smile you’ve always wanted. However, they won’t be as effective if you are constantly damaging them by eating the wrong foods. Here are some of the foods that you need to or should avoid when you have braces on your teeth.


While this snack is fun and tasty, the kernels can get stuck under your brackets and in your teeth that can be hard to remove. In the course of trying to pry these kernels out, you could damage your braces or gums. The hulls can cause your gums to swell or plaque to form if they aren’t removed. You can try popcorn alternatives like so-called “kernel-less” popcorn if you really need a fix from time to time.


For those that have braces, they should avoid nuts altogether. Because they are hard, you could inadvertently dislodge your brackets or wires, as well as get particles trapped around the brackets. For those who truly crave the flavor, substitute smooth peanut butter as a nutty snack.

Raw Vegetables

We’ve all heard the saying that we need to eat our vegetables, but raw vegetables like carrot sticks and celery need to be avoided when you have braces on your teeth. Because they are typically hard, you can easily damage your braces as soon as you chomp down on them. You can still eat vegetables, but you do need to make sure that you cook them beforehand.

Hard Candy

Hard candies like caramels and Jolly Ranchers are delicious and fun. However, these can damage both your braces and your teeth. It is okay to enjoy these occasionally by avoiding biting down on the candy, but some people find it hard to resist the urge to bite. In general, stick with softer candies that aren’t too sticky to keep your teeth and braces safe.


Many orthodontists will tell you that gum is one of the worst things to put in your mouth when you have braces. It can easily get caught in all of your brackets and wires and cause you to have to make an unexpected trip to the orthodontist’s office. If you absolutely must have a piece of gum while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, stick with a sugar-free one.

Orthodontist in Caledonia, MI

While you may find it annoying to avoid some of the foods you love when you have braces on your teeth, it’s helpful to keep in mind that it’s only temporary. If you haven’t started orthodontic treatment yet, you can schedule a consultation with Swan Orthodontics in Caledonia to get straight teeth for life. Dr. Kathryn Swan is a friendly, compassionate orthodontist that you or your child will love. Find out what your personal orthodontic journey will be like by contacting us today.