Foods to Avoid

Hard Foods

Anything that is hard cannot be chewed with braces on. Remember, braces are fragile, and strong forces from hard foods will break or distort them. Damaged appliances will extend treatment time. Extended treatment time increases the risk of cavities and stains on your teeth.


  • Ice chewing
  • Nuts
  • Corn on the cob (cut it off the cob)
  • Peanut brittle
  • Ribs (pull meat away from the bone)
  • Hard pizza crust
  • Popcorn
  • Doritos, corn chips, Cheetos
  • Fritos and the like
  • Hard tacos
  • Hard pretzels
  • Hard rolls and bagels
  • Beef jerky
  • Raw carrots
  • Apples

Sticky Foods

Braces can be pulled apart with sticky foods. Again, this could extend your treatment time.

  • Caramel candy
  • Bubble gum
  • Suckers
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Gummy candy

Chewing on Hard Things

Don't chew on hard things that don't belong in your mouth. They will cause damage to your wires and brackets and could extend treatment time.

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Fingernails

For a printable version of this list, download our Foods to Avoid handout.