The ABCDs of what foods/habits to avoid during braces

Many people feel a little confused about the do’s and don’ts once orthodontic treatment begins. We’ve put together this helpful ABCD guide featuring menu options that won’t compromise your health.

The A’s

Anyone who wears fixed braces should avoid excessive snacking, aiming instead to eat a healthy and balanced diet that focuses on foods that pack a nutritional punch.

Foods to avoid with braces include:

  • Chewy foods such as hard roll-ups and liquorice
  • Crunchy foods such as particular ice cubes or popcorn
  • Sticky foods such as caramels, mints and bubble gum
  • Hard food such as large nuts, corn chips or other hard chips, boiled lollies, toffee and crunching on ice or whole apple
  • Sugary and fizzy drinks – soft drinks and sports drinks

The B’s

Beware of these foods and use caution when enjoying:

  • Unground whole grains, hard-crusted bread, less processed loaves of bread
  • Hard cheeses
  • Meat from the bone – Lamb chops
  • Whole or chunky nuts and seeds
  • Coffee and tea can lead to temporary discolouration of the braces and teeth
  • Acidic foods & drinks – citrus fruit is okay but don’t brush immediately after consuming – best to have a glass of water to dilute the effects of the citric acid and brush your teeth no less than one hour later
  • Heavily spiced curries, packet noodles and cakes or any foods with food colouring, as these can discolour the elastic modules used to hold the wire to your braces.

The C’s

Completely cool foods to eat whenever you can!

  • Soft or pureed fruits – mushy bananas are delicious, tinned peaches and stewed fruits
  • Fresh fruit – just cut up those apples into bite-size pieces
  • Steamed, boiled or mashed vegetables – you don’t need to cook so much that you’re removing nutrients but cooking them until they’re soft will have the best impact
  • Soft cooked grains, soft crusted bread, soft cooked rice & pasta;
  • Milk, yoghurt & custards
  • Lean, tender meat, tofu or slow-cooked, stewed food (as long as the colouring & spices aren’t too intense); and
  • Smooth nut spreads

The D’s

Damaging habits can impact on your orthodontic treatment too. The following should be avoided while wearing braces: 

  • Chewing on pens & pencils
  • Crunching ice cubes or ice blocks
  • Nail-biting
  • Smoking


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