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Foods to Avoid

Orthodontic Treatment in Bethesda & Laurel, MD

At Heller Orthodontics, our mission is simple: help our patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile through high-quality orthodontic treatment. As a leading orthodontic practice serving Bethesda, Laurel, North Potomac, and the surrounding areas, we strive to take an individual approach with patients, designing treatment plans that suit each patient's unique lifestyle. But achieving a new smile takes more than just visits to your Laurel orthodontist – it also requires you to take good care of your braces, and watching your diet is an important part of that process.

What Foods Should I Avoid While Wearing Braces?

While braces are made from strong materials and are attached to the teeth with powerful dental cement, they're not invulnerable – and certain foods can damage and break your braces. While you're wearing braces, you'll need to avoid any foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky, gooey, or chock-full of sugar or carbohydrates. These foods carry a risk of damaging the components of your braces, and sugary foods increase the risk of tooth decay, which can derail your treatment.

Ultimately, you'll need to use common sense to decide which foods are dangerous for braces. But to help get you oriented, here's a small list of some typical foods to avoid with braces:

Sticky Foods to Avoid

Sticky food to avoid with braces.
  • Starburst
  • Licorice
  • Gum
  • Sugar Daddies
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Toffee
  • Caramels

Hard Foods to Avoid

Hard food to avoid with braces.
  • Pizza crust
  • Hard taco shells
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Toasted Bagels
  • Ice
  • Chips
  • Nuts
  • Raw carrots or apples (Ok if cut into small pieces)
  • French bread or crusted rolls

Sugary Foods to Minimize

Minimize sugary foods with braces.
  • Candy
  • Ice Cream
  • Pie
  • Cake
  • Cookies

No More than Once per Day

Limit certain foods with braces.
  • Sweet tea
  • Kool-Aid
  • Soda
  • Gatorade
  • Any sweetened beverage

Keep in mind that this isn't a complete list – it's more of a guide to help you identify foods that can harm your braces. In addition to watching your diet, it's important to avoid chewing on objects like pencils, pens, or your fingernails, as these can all break off brackets or otherwise damage braces.

Check your braces regularly for any signs of damage, and if you ever find anything, contact us right away to let us know. We'll provide further instructions and set up an emergency repair appointment at our office.

Contact Your Laurel, MD Orthodontist

You'll need to closely watch your diet to prevent damaging your braces – but with proper care, you can keep your treatment running smoothly and achieve a beautiful new smile. If you have more questions on what foods to avoid with braces or your treatment in general, feel free to reach out to us at our contact page. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful new smile!