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30 Foods Your Orthodontist Hates

BracesWhen I originally posted this list in 2008, my daughter had just got her braces on. Well, 5 years later, she has just gone back into braces for the second time (to fix something different) and it is time for us to review what she can and can not eat with her braces on.

Our orthodontist gave us a great list of foods you should and shouldn’t eat with braces. I am publishing it here for two reasons – one, so I can find the list again quickly, and two, so you can find it quickly if you have a child with braces.

The following foods can break or loosen the orthodontic appliances in your mouth, so don’t even think about eating them – your orthodontist will not be happy!

  1. Ice
  2. Nuts
  3. Beef jerky
  4. Slim jims
  5. Caramels, Rolos candy
  6. Frozen candy bars
  7. Tootsie Rolls
  8. Lollipops
  9. Candy Canes
  10. Gummy Bears
  11. Fruit Roll ups (the dentist hates these too – she calls them sugar glue)
  12. Nerds
  13. Fun Fruits
  14. Hard Taco shells
  15. Granola bars
  16. Bubble Gum (sugar free stick gum is okay)
  17. Snickers
  18. Twizzlers
  19. Butterfingers
  20. Taffy
  21. Starburst
  22. Skittles
  23. Peanut Brittle
  24. Now & Laters
  25. Jolly Ranchers
  26. Sugar Daddies
  27. Runts
  28. Air Heads
  29. Doritos
  30. Cheetos

Or basically anything hard, sticky or chewy. Also don’t suck on lemons or limes.

Some foods can be eaten if you use caution like:

  • Potato chips – break into small pieces and chew with back teeth
  • Popcorn – one or two pieces at a time
  • Raw fruits and veggies – cut into small pieces – don’t bite with front teeth
  • Corn on the cob – cut off cob
  • Chicken, steak, pork chops, ribs – cut meat off bone and then eat
  • Soda – brush teeth immediately after finishing or at a minimum rinse with water

If your child has a bracket pop or come off, contact your orthodontist immediately!

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17 Responses to 30 Foods Your Orthodontist Hates

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  2. G-lant says:

    I eat most of these things and chew gun almost every day. I’ve only had 1 problem with breaking a clear bracket so I’m going to keep all of them, and for everyone else, just be careful when you eat things you’re not supposed to eat…

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  5. Char says:

    Thanks CandyAddict!!

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  7. Hil says:

    Acidic foods and drinks soften your enamel for about two to three hours. Brushing during that time can damage your teeth. I know. How ironic. Best thing to do is rinse with water, then follow it up with brushing a few hours later.

  8. Now that your daughter has had her braces for a year, maybe you’d like some new recipe ideas. The American Association of Orthodontists posts some at, and the website has pointers to more recipes as well as offering some handy types of brush/mirror kits to stick in a backpack.

  9. Lisandra says:

    Thank you, I just got braces and my orthodontist went over a list but didn’t really give me one, so thanks for the tips at the bottom too(: i cannot believe I have to let go of all this yummy stuff for 2 years or more ahah. I’ll get over it, but thank you again (:

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  11. taylor says:

    thanks!! im getting braces a coupple of days. im telling myself that im excited but im realy not. this helps altho idk how im gonna survive not drinking soda for 2 yrs, i only drink it every couple days but still!! now what am i gonna get wen i go to a resturant!?! lol 😛

  12. Norah says:

    Thank you so much! I am probably going to get braces in the next few months, but I can’t believe I can’t eat doretoes or beef jerky for 2 or more years after that!!!

  13. emma says:

    i dont know if i ca let go of all this candy im getting braces next month and my taecher gives us candy all the time considering im in 5th grade well thanks for the tips and i have a question how long do tou normally have braces

  14. ashlie says:

    JERKY LOVERS! I am a fanatic when it comes to jerky but when I had braces I found it impossible to eat it. But here’s a trick!!! If you rip it into shreds it’s easy to eat. Just make sure you are chewing with your back teeth and NOT with your front! The plus side, since the jerky is so chewy.. it lasts longer! Hope this helps 🙂

  15. Siena Noelle says:

    Oh my good Lord! I don’t think I can let go of my Jolly Ranchers, Nerds,

  16. Taylor says:

    I will be getting braces in about a week and will definitely be using this food guide on what not to eat! Thank you for sharing this!!