When you first get your braces you will have a lot of questions about how they are going to affect your life. Learning how to take care of them and the rest of their mouth can help reduce pain and possible damage to your braces and your mouth as well. There are probably a lot of questions you have and we hope to help you get the answers you need. You might be concerned about how they will change how you need to eat or drink. There are some everyday food items that need to be avoided or that you should at least use caution with as you go about your life with braces.

The types of food that you should try to avoid or use caution when eating:

  • Potato chips or other veggie chips – Chew carefully and only eat one at a time
  • Energy drinks and sodas – These drinks should be avoided because of the high sugar content that can cause tooth decay
  • Corn on the cob – Cut the kernels off the cob to help reduce chances of pulling brackets or wires loose
  • Carrots, apples, pears and other hard fruits and veggies – Cut these fruits into small pieces and chew thoroughly
  • Chewy or hard bread such as bagels or pizza crusts – Cut into small pieces before eating

Foods that you do not need to eat:

  • Gum of any type – These can get stuck or pull lose parts of your braces
  • Candies such as gummy bears, taffy, caramel or gooey chocolate bars – These can get stuck or pull lose parts of your braces
  • Popcorn – Kernels can get stuck and crunching on un-popped kernels can cause damage
  • Nuts and hard candies – Crunching on these can cause pain and damage to braces

You should never chew on any non-food items such as your fingernails or hair. You should also avoid gnawing on pencils or other wooden items, as well as pens and other plastic objects. Ice cubes should also be something that you should never eat or crunch on whether or not you have braces or other oral hardware such as bridges, caps or fillings.

Eating any of the above-listed items can potentially cause serious problems such as broken wires on or brackets. This can cause painful results and hinder the treatment efficiency, not only this prolong treatment as well on the count of having to go back and repair the damage.

Braces are wonderful tools that help you have a healthier more beautiful smile for the rest of your life. Following these rules can feel like a hassle at times and may not seem very fun, but are well worth heading. Of course good oral hygiene is important too. Brushing after every meal and following your orthodontist’s instructions will help the process greatly. If you have any other questions about braces or other orthodontic issues please fill free to contact us. We are here for all your orthodontic needs.


Dr Sam Burrow D.D.S., D.M.D. – Dr. Burrow was born in Charlotte and moved to Charleston to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Biology at the College of Charleston. He graduated magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and then stayed to earn a D.M.D. with honors at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Burrow completed his orthodontic residency at University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan and is now in practice with his father at Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics in the Charlotte area.