Caring for Teeth & Braces


What to Eat – What Not to Eat

Howington.JPGFor a few days after your braces are applied, the teeth will be sore, so your diet may be limited to soft foods. The rest of the time in braces, you need to avoid foods that will either break the braces or cause tooth decay.

Soft Foods for Sore Teeth

These are good food choices after braces are applied and after adjustments:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soups and Stews
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Ice cream

Foods to Enjoy in Small Bites

Some chewy and hard foods are fine, as long as they're cut in small bites, and not bit into directly.

  • Steak & Chicken
  • Pizza – but not the hard, chewy crust
  • Carrots
  • Apples (cut off the core)
  • Corn (cut off the cob)

Foods to Avoid

Some foods can break braces and some can cause tooth decay because they get caught in the braces and are difficult to remove completely.

Sticky & Chewy Foods

  • Gum (sugarless gun is alright in moderation)
  • Dried fruit
  • Bagels
  • Beef jerky
  • Gummy candies
  • Caramels and taffy
  • Chewy candy bars
  • Jelly beans
  • Starburst and Skittles
  • Tootsie Rolls

Hard & Crunchy Foods

  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Tortilla or other hard chips
  • Pizza crust
  • Hard candy, like Jolly Ranchers
  • Ice

Sugary Foods & Drinks
Sugar can cause tooth decay, so if you do eat or drink these foods, be sure to brush your teeth immediately afterwards.

  • Candy
  • Cookies, brownies and other sweets
  • Soft drinks
  • Sports and energy drinks

Habits to Avoid

When wearing braces, you should avoid:

  • Biting fingernails
  • Biting pens, pencils or erasers
  • Biting or chewing on any object that's not food!


You can play any sports while wearing braces, but we recommend wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards are definitely indicated for contact sports and sports that involve flying balls that can hit you in the mouth. We can provide a mouthguard that will protect your teeth while wearing braces. Just ask for one!!

Musical Instruments

You can still play a brass or woodwind instrument. It may be irritating at first, but a little wax will help. We also offer lip protectors that snap over the braces to provide comfort while playing. Just ask for a set!!

Brushing & Flossing (You will receive personalized instructions and supplies the day you get your braces on)

Keeping teeth clean is extremely important while wearing braces. You should ideally brush after every meal or snack – and especially after sugary food or drinks. You should floss once a day, preferably before bedtime.

Make sure you use a soft bristled toothbrush or electric toothbrush and brush all surfaces of the teeth, including along the gum line.

We recommend using the flossers to allow the floss to clean the areas between gums and braces.

We also recommend using the fluoride gel to help prevent tooth decay and decalcification. The fluoride is best applied just before bedtime as you should not eat or drink for 30 minutes afterwards.