What Can You Eat With Orthodontic Braces

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Orthodontist In London Waterloo
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Orthodontic Braces in London

Orthodontic braces are increasingly popular with both teenagers and adults in London. All of us have a lot on our plates in our daily lives – from school, sports practice, homework, extra-curricular activities for teenagers to work, socialising and attending events for adults. If you are about to start brace treatment or have started it already, you still need to be able to have healthy (and preferably yummy) meals to keep you going. Your eating habits will need to change a little because of your braces. However, don’t let that discourage you as there are plenty of brace-friendly substitutes for your favourite foods.

When you are undergoing orthodontic brace treatment, it’s important that you avoid certain foods to ensure you don’t damage your braces. I am sure all of you want to take off your braces as soon as possible to show off your new smiles; to enable that you need to ensure you look after your braces and let them continue straightening your teeth without interruption. To prevent damage to your orthodontic braces, you should avoid hard, crunchy foods that may bend wires and break off brackets, interrupting the teeth straightening process and thus slowing it down. And you also don’t want to find that you have developed a splotchy smile from soda staining outlining the shape of where your orthodontic brackets once were.

Top 8 Worst Foods for Orthodontic Braces

We find that certain foods consistently create issues for orthodontic braces patients. These issues can range from causing broken brackets to increasing the risk of tooth decay. We have noted below the top 7 food items that are least-friendly for people wearing fixed braces.

Popcorn – It may not sound like it, however, popcorn is probably the single worst food item that you can eat with your orthodontic braces. The reason is popcorn kernels. For someone not wearing braces, popcorn kernels may cause minor discomfort at best and can be easily taken care of by flossing or use of a strategically placed fingernail. However, for patient’s wearing orthodontic braces, popcorn kernels can sometimes get stuck for long periods of time, causing extremely painful swelling to the gums and sometimes requiring the removal of braces and the wires to clean the area properly.

Ice – You are correct, ice technically is not food, but teenagers (and also some adults) love to chew on it. Chewing ice is not good for teeth in general; however it is especially bad for orthodontic braces. We often find that teenagers (and sometimes adults) who show up to their review appointments with multiple broken brackets often admit to chewing ice at home.

Corn on the cob – Corn on the cob is one of the most difficult food items to eat with braces on. It is also often one of the first things patients want to eat once their orthodontic fixed braces are removed. Eating corn is actually perfectly okay, as long as it is removed from the cob first.

 Whole apples and raw carrots – Having apples and carrots on this list often surprises patients given they are so healthy and relatively easy to eat. However, eating whole apples and raw carrots requires you to bite with your front teeth, which often causes broken brackets. As with corn on the cob in the paragraph above, cutting the carrots and apples makes them easier to eat and therefore less dangerous for your braces.

Beef jerky – Some teenagers just love to have beef jerky despite its salty taste and extremely strong smell. Unfortunately however, beef jerky needs a lot of effort to chew and therefore, not surprisingly, is bad for your fixed braces.


Hard candy – Hard candies like jolly ranchers and peppermint are the perfect way to break orthodontic brackets, especially if you were to bite down hard on the candy. If you are very fond of having candies, we suggest just sucking on them until they completely dissolve – this won’t break the braces. However, bear in mind that sugar isn’t great for teeth and having lots of candies will likely increase your risk of tooth decay. That’s the last thing you want while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Sugary gum – Gum is somewhat of a controversial topic for many orthodontists and patients. Some orthodontists allow patients to chew gum while undertaking brace treatment. However, other orthodontists only allow their patients to consume sugar-free gum. Sugary gum should never really be chewed at all as it can increase the risk of tooth decay and therefore cause cavities. Sugar-free gum can sometimes dislodge the thin orthodontic wires that are placed at the start of orthodontic brace treatment.

However, chewing forces unleashed while chewing gum can also make tooth movement more comfortable for the patient, which is why many orthodontists allow the patient’s to have sugar-free gum.

Turmeric – Turmeric, an orange-yellow coloured spice found in Indian and Middle Eastern foods, stains orthodontic braces and Invisalign aligners. We suggest avoiding Indian and Middle Eastern preparations that contain this spice.

How To Eating With Fixed Braces

How you eat with your fixed braces if almost as important as what you eat with them. The first rule of thumb is to chew food slowly so as not to accidentally bite too hard on something, causing your brackets to come lose in the process. The second rule of thumb is to cut your food and fruits into smaller pieces where you can – especially carrots, apples, spaghetti and chewy bread. Third rule of thumb is to bite from the side of your mouth instead of your front teeth. You will find biting from the side a lot easier and this will also prevent food from getting stuck in your front brackets.

If you are considering straightening your teeth with orthodontic braces, call us to book a free consultation with our orthodontic dentists. They will be able to provide you the best teeth straightening options available to you. You can find more information about orthodontic braces on our orthodontics homepagehttps://www.whitesdental.co.uk/orthodontist-teeth-straightening-london-waterloo/

At Whites Dental, we have some of London’s leading dentists working with us. If you need more information on fixed orthodontic braces, we will be happy to arrange a free consultation with our dentists. We are located in London Waterloo, right adjacent to Southwark tube station. We are also a quick walk from Borough Market, London Bridge and Elephant and Castle.