What Can’t You Eat with Braces?

Written by Dr. Reuben Sim
Published: 25-03-2023

What Can't You Eat with Braces

Braces are great for giving you beautiful straight teeth.

But they require some extra care when it comes to eating with them!

Certain foods can get stuck in your braces and damage them, causing pain and potential teeth issues.

You must learn what foods you can and can’t eat with braces to ensure the best outcome for your braces treatment.

In this article, we’ll cover what you can eat with braces, as well as what specific foods you can’t eat with braces.

When it comes to what you can’t eat with braces, a good rule of thumb is to avoid anything tough, sticky or overly chewy.

All dentists and orthodontists will recommend you eat soft food with braces. We’re talking about:

  • Cooked vegetables: Steamed, boiled, or roasted vegetables
  • Soft fruits: Bananas, berries, and mandarins. Make sure you cut them into small pieces to avoid getting seeds or fibers stuck in your braces.
  • Dairy products: Milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Soft grains: Cooked rice, quinoa, or pasta
  • Soft meats: Tender chicken, fish, or tofu can provide protein without being too hard on your braces.

And if you’ve just gotten braces, let’s take a look at what to eat with braces in the first week:

  • Oatmeal
  • Smoothies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soup
  • Soft bread
  • Smooth butter: Peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter are all good sources of protein and healthy fats. Just don’t go for the crunchy options and get anything stuck in your new braces!
  • Soft fruits and vegetables
  • Pudding or cake

The first week is uncomfortable as you adjust to your braces. So prioritise the soft and easy-to-chew foods above.

If any food feels too tough to chew, don’t keep eating it.

A common question from clients is: “What foods can you not eat with braces?”

Foods You Can’t Eat with Braces

Things you can’t eat with braces are foods like:

  • Lollies (gobstoppers, lollipops, or other hard lollies can chip or break braces, causing damage or delaying treatment. Hard lollies are definitely something you can’t eat with braces)
  • Sticky lollies (get stuck in braces, causing decay and damage)
  • Nuts (hard nuts like almonds, peanuts, and cashews can get stuck in your braces and/or damage them)
  • Popcorn: (popcorn kernels are a dentists nightmare! They easily get lodged in your teeth and braces, causing pain and dental issues)
  • Chewing gum (gum can get stuck in your braces and cause damage)
  • Hard fruits and vegetables (cut apples and carrots into small, bite-sized pieces before eating them)
  • Tough meats: (steak or jerky can be difficult to chew and can damage your wires, which is why you can’t eat them with braces)

Can You Eat Burgers With Braces?

Burgers can be eaten if you cut them into small, bite-sized pieces and chew them carefully.

Avoid eating hard or crunchy toppings like bacon or croutons, as these may crack or bend your braces.

Can You Eat Pizza with Braces?

Yes, you can eat pizza with braces, but be careful with the toppings you choose.

When your dentist informs you of what you can’t eat with braces, hard or crunchy toppings like crispy bacon or pepperoni will likely come up. These foods can damage or get stuck in your wires and brackets.

Opt for softer toppings like mushrooms, onions, or peppers.

How to Eat with Braces

There are a few rules to remember to ensure your braces treatment doesn’t become derailed:

  • Cut food into smaller pieces
  • Chew carefully and slowly
  • Avoid biting into hard or crunchy foods with your front teeth – dentists will always warn against this when explaining what you can’t eat with braces
  • Avoid sticky, chewy, or hard foods that can get stuck in your braces
  • Rinse your mouth with water after eating to remove any food particles
  • Brush and floss regularly to prevent decay or other dental problems

A List of More Foods To Eat With Braces

How To Find The Right Cosmetic Dental Practice2

Remember, the food must be soft!

Here are some more foods that are safe to eat with braces:

  • Soft, cooked grains like couscous
  • Soft, cooked pasta with a smooth sauce like Alfredo or marinara
  • Soft, cooked vegetables like mushrooms, asparagus, and spinach
  • Soft, baked goods like muffins, pancakes, and waffles
  • Soft, rice dishes like risotto or rice pudding
  • Soft, cooked dumplings like gnocchi or spaetzle
  • Cooked or canned fruits like applesauce, peaches, and pears
  • Cooked or roasted vegetables like squash, beets, and cauliflower

Can You Eat Chocolate With Braces?


Chocolate can be eaten with braces. But remember to choose the right type:

  • Soft chocolates, like milk chocolate, are generally safe to eat with braces.
  • However, it’s best to avoid hard or chewy chocolates like those filled with caramel or nuts, as they can damage your braces and get stuck in the wires and brackets.

We tell all of our clients with braces that they can eat chocolate, but remind them good oral hygiene is important to prevent any potential problems.

Be sure to brush and floss after eating, especially sugary or sticky foods like chocolate.

In general, sugary and sticky foods aren’t good for your braces or your overall oral health. Eating too many of these foods can increase your risk of developing cavities or tooth decay, and they can also damage your braces and prolong your treatment time.

If you follow a nutritious diet together with good oral hygiene, you can help ensure a successful outcome for your braces treatment.

Can You Eat Popcorn With Braces?

If you ask your dentist what you can’t eat with braces, popcorn will definitely be on their list.

Popcorn kernels are hard and easily get stuck in the wires and brackets of your braces, making it difficult to remove them. Also, biting into a kernel can damage your braces or even dislodge them.

H2: Can You Eat Chips With Braces?

Like popcorn, chips are one of the foods you can’t eat with braces.

Chips are typically hard and crunchy, which can damage your braces and cause them to come loose or break.

The sharp edges of the chips can also get stuck in your braces and cause discomfort.

Be extremely cautious if you choose to eat chips – what you definitely can’t eat with braces are chips that are very hard or have sharp edges – like overcooked or burnt tortilla chips or potato chips.

Try eating softer and gentler chips like pita or veggie chips that are less likely to damage your braces.

What Can’t You Eat With Braces

Eating with braces requires some getting used to. But there are still plenty of delicious and nutritious foods that you can enjoy!

Stick to soft, easy-to-chew foods. And if you’re wondering: “What can’t I eat with braces?” remember to avoid hard or crunchy foods.

By sticking to our guidelines in this blog, particularly the list of foods you can eat with braces, you can ensure the best possible outcome for your braces treatment, and achieve a beautiful, straight smile!

If you want to learn more about our braces options, book now to learn more.