Braces are the most common treatment when it comes to orthodontics. Modern dental braces are discreet and infinitely more compact than their predecessors. Braces can be a significant investment, but having beautifully straight teeth after the treatment makes them well worth it. It's a bit of a learning experience, and one of the most important things to know is which types of food are not particularly friendly towards your braces. So what should be avoided, and what are some great substitutes?

Bones and Cobs

Separating food from its natural base can place pressure on your front teeth, namely your canines and incisors. These teeth are now being straightened by your braces, so this extra pressure should be avoided. The process also creates a huge amount of miniscule food particles that can become trapped in your braces. Avoid eating corn on the cob, and meats such as ribs or chicken wings. Should you still wish to enjoy these foods, cut them from their base (the cob or the bone) and then eat.

Sticky and Chewy

Chewy sweets are one of the worst things you can eat when you have braces. Toffees, caramels and some kinds of mints can easily become lodged in your braces, and it's difficult to remove them once this happens. To indulge your sweet tooth (in moderation, of course), stick to hard candies that can be sucked, and fruit pastilles are ideal. If you still crave that toffee or caramel taste, opt for a suckable hard version, instead of the more common soft and chewy candy.

Raw and Crunchy

There's something satisfying about biting into a crunchy piece of fruit or vegetable. This crunch is not ideal for your braces and can damage its wires. When eating apples, carrots, celery, or any kind of raw and crunchy fruit or vegetable, just make sure that you cut them into bite size pieces. You should also avoid eating nuts, whether raw or roasted. These nuts are simply too crunchy and pose a real risk to the integrity of your braces. If you can't shake your nutty craving, you can enjoy these food in their soft puréed form - as peanut butter.


You also need to be mindful of things you might chew on that are not necessarily food. Now is the time to break bad habits such as biting your nails. While nail fragments are not exactly that hard, you really don't want to have a piece of fingernail caught in your braces! Chewing on pens and pencils is also a big no-no. The hard plastic can easily damage your braces.

Eating with braces can take a bit of getting used to, but it's important to know what to avoid, since any damage to your braces can make the whole process lengthier and more expensive.