Caring for Teeth and Braces

What to Eat – What Not to Eat


For a few days after you or your child's braces are applied the teeth will be sore, so diet can be limited to soft foods. The rest of the time in braces, it's best to avoid foods that will either break the braces or cause tooth decay.


Soft Foods for Sore Teeth

These are good choices after braces are applied and after adjustments.


  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soups and Stews
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • 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
  • Pizza
  • Bagels
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Corn (cut off the cob)


Foods to Avoid

These 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
  • Dried fruit
  • 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
  • Ice


Sugary Foods & Drinks

These can cause tooth decay, so if you do eat or drink these, be sure to brush your teeth immediately afterward.


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


Habits to Avoid

  • Especially when wearing braces, your child should avoid:
  • Biting fingernails
  • Biting pens, pencils or erasers
  • Biting or chewing on any object that's not food!


What to Play


Your child can play any sports while wearing braces, but we recommend a mouth guard. A lot of sports involve flying balls, pucks or sticks. Other sports provide the opportunity for your child to fall face first into pavement. We can provide a mouth guard that will protect your teeth while wearing braces.


Musical Instruments

If you are a musician you can still play a brass or woodwind instrument. It may be irritating at first, but wax will help that.


Brushing & Flossing

Keeping teeth clean is even more 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 brushes all surfaces of the teeth, including along the gum line.


We recommend using the flossers suggested the day the braces were applied, to allow the floss to clean the areas between gums and braces.


We also recommend using a fluoride gel to help prevent tooth decay and decalcification.