Foods to Avoid

What Can't I Eat With Braces?

Most patients find that wearing braces is an incredibly rewarding journey: achieving a straighter smile can boost your confidence, brighten your demeanor, and actually improve your overall health. However, the journey towards that smile doesn’t come without sacrifice.

Our team at Drs. Najem & Lehky Orthodontics takes every possible measure to ensure that your treatment is as effective and efficient as possible. However, there are also things you should do at home to make sure that you achieve your desired results--or perhaps we should say things you shouldn’t do, such as eating certain foods.

Though we understand that giving up some of your favorite foods during your orthodontic treatment may not be ideal, the results are always worth it! To help you adjust to life with braces, we’ve compiled a helpful guide of foods to avoid and safe alternatives to make the process a bit more bearable.

Avoid Hard, Crunchy Foods

When you eat crunchy foods with braces, you run the risk of snapping your archwire or breaking off one of your brackets. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid your favorite foods altogether, though! Just be smart about how you satisfy your cravings: for example, cut up apples and carrots into bite-sized pieces that won’t cause any damage, substitute a puffed corn snack (without kernels) for popcorn, and try pita bread instead of chips with your dip.

Limit Sticky, Sugary Foods & Beverages

While it’s true that most of the sweet things we eat and drink are soft and therefore don’t seem like they have the potential to cause damage to our braces, they can greatly impede the success of your orthodontic treatment. The high sugar content of cakes, cookies, and sodas cause bacteria to build up on your teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and/or cause staining around your brackets. Keep in mind that some sweets can even cause physical damage - sticky caramels can get tangled and stuck in your wires, and hard candies can break off brackets if accidentally bitten down on. Try incorporating more fruit into your diet to satisfy your sweet tooth, and when you do indulge in moderation, be sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating.

Other Habits To Kick With Braces

It’s not just food that poses a danger to your braces - other bad habits, such as biting your fingernails, chewing on pens, and smoking cigarettes can damage your braces and impede the success of your orthodontic treatment. While kicking these habits may be frustrating at first, your overall health and happiness will surely benefit from it!

Visit Your Local Fairlawn Orthodontist Today

If you follow these guidelines and practice good oral hygiene, you should have a smooth and stress-free orthodontic journey! However, accidents do happen, so you should regularly check your braces for damaged wires and brackets at home and be sure to schedule regular check-ups with Drs. Najem & Lehky. Call our Fairlawn office at (330) 864-3331 or Cortland at (330) 638-7004, or book an appointment online. Our team looks forward to helping you achieve your perfect smile!