Getting braces for the first time can be a painful process, especially in the first couple of weeks. Braces can also affect your diet because some foods can actually damage your braces. If you are wanting to make the most of your braces, there are some foods you should consider avoiding.

1. Hard Taco Shells

Taco Tuesdays with friends are always a blast, but can quickly become painful for someone with braces. Hard taco shells can contribute to breaking certain metal elements on your braces, not to mention when you bite your sensitive teeth into a hard taco shell.

Instead, opt for the soft taco shells or have a burrito instead! The ingredients are often chopped up finely which is ideal for your braces.

2. Crunchy Cookies

Snacking on some store-bought cookies while you watch your favorite show is definitely an ideal situation when it’s chilly outside. The problem with store-bought cookies is how crunchy they are. The crunch, which is some people’s favorite part, is actually a big problem for people with braces, much like hard taco shells.

Instead of buying your cookies at the grocery store, consider baking your own cookies and make them soft so you can easily bite into them.

3. Sticky & Hard Candy

Imagine getting one of these sweet things stuck in your braces! Not pretty. Whether it’s the metal components of your braces or the rubber elastics that will break, the last thing you need is another trip to the orthodontist!

Instead of hard and sticky candy, try digging into some ice cream or frozen yogurt next time you have a sweet tooth. It may even make your teeth feel better!

4. Pretzels

Pretzels are really crunchy and salty making them a great snack for when you need something to satisfy those hunger pangs. When you have braces though, they cause more problems than good results.

Instead of pretzels, try a freshly baked pretzel that is more like bread than a crunchy chip. The crunchy pretzels will only contribute to weakening and possibly breaking your braces.

5. Crunchy Produce

Just to clarify, we aren’t saying that this is an excuse to avoid vegetables. It just means that you need to be aware of what veggies your eating, and possibly alter the contents of your regular vegetable drawer to suit your braces. Hard fruits and veggies such as uncooked carrots and apples will be painful to bite into and can cause a lot of damage to your braces.

If you can’t give up some of your crunchy favorites (not the worst problem in the world), try cooking them instead. Whichever way you cook them, make sure they are soft enough to pop in your mouth without the initial crunch of the front teeth.

6. Croutons

Mmmm, Ceasar salad is a crowd favorite but it can be a minefield for people with braces! Those croutons are so delicious but they can cause so many problems when it comes to keeping your braces intact.

Instead of eating a Caesar salad with croutons, either leave them out or opt for a green salad that doesn’t have croutons in it.

7. Chewing Gum

Much like chewy candy, chewing gum will cause way more problems than good, even if your breath stinks. The gum can stick to your braces and weaken or break the metal components on your teeth.

Next time you need to freshen up your oral hygiene, use mouthwash or simply brush your teeth!

8. Nuts

By this point in the article, you will probably start noticing a trend of what hurts your braces instead of helping them. Nuts are quite obviously a food that can get stuck in your braces, break them and be painful to bite into if your teeth are sensitive.

If you’re looking for an alternative way to enjoy nuts, choose a nut butter than you can spread on soft bread or on a banana. This will be just as delicious and less detrimental to your braces.

9. Corn On The Cob

Corn on the cob is stable in the summertime, but when you have braces, don’t even think about it! Biting your front teeth into the hard cob to scrape off the corn kernels is a recipe for a painful oral disaster with braces.

Enjoy some roasted vegetables instead that are both rich in flavor and nutrients, but are also soft on your teeth. No pain to be found with this side dish!

10. Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky may not be crunchy, but it definitely is tough and chewy. This makes it a big no-no for people with braces as the chewy texture and tough quality of the meat can cause braces to break.

If you want to enjoy an easy meat on the run, pick up some sliced deli meat and roll them up into a container with some softer veggies inside such as avocado. You can add cheese as well. This way, you are having a healthier snack without sore teeth or broken braces!

11. Sodas

Having your favorite soda from time to time is a fizzy treat we all enjoy! The problem is, it does some serious damage to your teeth including permanent loss of teeth enamel. When you’re wearing braces, the negative effects are heightened because your teeth need to be strong to keep those braces

Instead of drinking soda, try drinking carbonated water. It will keep you hydrated and give you that fizzy pop texture that you love so much.

12. Popcorn

Popcorn is a fantastic healthy snack when you are just wanting to munch on something. The problem is, with braces, those lovely popcorn kernels can get stuck in your teeth and braces.

This puts your braces at a high risk of breaking which means another trip to the orthodontist – you don’t want that, do you?

13. Licorice

Similarly to chewy and hard candy, licorice is really tough on your braces and teeth! It puts your braces at risk of breaking, and it’s not great for your teeth!

Enjoy a few pieces of dark chocolate to get your sugar fix without all those braces-related consequences.

14. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a scrumptiously salty treat that is delicious and nutritious! Unfortunately, they are not the best snack when you have braces because of how tiny they are. They can easily get stuck in your braces and contribute to the damaging and breaking those expensive little wires.

Instead, opt for something like a Nutri-Grain Bar if you are needing you tide your hunger over until the next meal. It won’t threaten your braces and still tastest delicious.

15. Pizza Crust

Thin crust pizza is not the greatest option for people with braces because it’s so crunchy and thin. The impact of biting into this pizza won’t feel great on your teeth, and it can obviously get stuck in your braces.

If you can have a pizza with a light and fluffy crust that is similar to bread, that is definitely your best bet.

Lindsay Duncan

Lindsay loves cooking fun and creative meals for friends and family. At home, you can find her trying out a new recipe found on Pinterest while trying to balance her husband's sweet tooth with her healthy eating habits. If she's not in the kitchen, you'll find Lindsay photographing people she loves and going out with friends to try the newest restaurant in her small town.

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