On average, traditional braces cost $5,000—sometimes more.

But eating the wrong foods, like sticky, hard, or chewy foods, can break the wires and rubber bands. In some cases, the brackets might even disconnect from your teeth.

The last thing you want to do after spending so much money on your braces is to break them. This means you might have to cut certain foods out of your diet and stick to softer alternatives.

Not sure what to stay away from?

Here’s a quick list of food you can’t eat with braces.

Chewy, Sticky Candies

You’ll generally want to stay away from sugary candies while wearing braces. Foods that are full of sugar cause a build-up of plaque acid, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Besides the sugar component, many candies are sticky and chewy. These types of foods can loosen brackets and damage your wires.

But not all sticky foods are candies. You should stay away from any food that is too sticky, chewy, or sugary. Here are a few examples:

  • Caramel
  • Fudge
  • Gum
  • Soda
  • Ice cream
  • Cake
  • Toffee
  • Licorice

These foods are just a few examples. If the food seems sticky or full of sugar, you should choose something else instead.

Hard, Crunchy Foods

Foods that are hard and crunchy can also break your wires and disconnect your brackets. But hard foods can be more difficult to avoid than candies.

Here are a few common hard-food culprits:

  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Taco shells
  • Chips
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies
  • Apples and pears
  • Carrots

While you should stay away from these foods, there are a few ways you can enjoy some hard foods. For example, you can skin and slice apples and cook carrots to make them softer.

Anything You Have to Bite

So this one isn’t exactly true.

Since you have to bite into most foods, there are a number of exceptions. But you should avoid biting into anything that’s hard or crunchy.

In other words, taking a bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is fine, but taking a bite of an apple isn’t a good idea.

So What Can I Eat?

All this food you have to avoid might seem like a large part of your normal diet. But don’t get discouraged. There are still plenty of foods you can eat with braces.

Here are some braces-safe, soft foods you should try:

  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Light crackers
  • Pasta
  • Pitless fruits (like bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc.)

You can still make full meals without using any hard or sticky foods. And these are just a few options. There are many other braces-safe foods out there to choose from.

Staying Away from Food You Can’t Eat with Braces

If you know you’ll have a hard time saying no to the food you can’t eat with braces, you should do your best to stay away from it. Bring your own soft food with you wherever you go so you won’t be tempted to buy something you shouldn’t eat instead.

Do you have other questions or concerned about your braces?

We can help! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!