The question I most commonly hear after someone begins orthodontic treatment is: What am I allowed to eat? There are definite restrictions that you’ll have to follow after getting braces. That’s because any food that is hard or sticky can damage your braces, and that damage may then force you to wear braces for longer than what was first intended. Many people pop a bracket during the course of their treatment when they eat foods that can either cause plaque build up or impair braces.

What You Can Eat

Wearing braces doesn’t mean that you have to give up all of your favorite things. There are plenty of food that you can still eat while maintaining good dental health:

  • Grains like soft breads and whole grain cereals.
  • Soft fruits like bananas, ripe pears and peaches, raspberries, blueberries, and oranges.
  • Starches like rice and potatoes.
  • Cooked vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, and uncooked veggies like lettuce and cucumbers.
  • Dairy like low fat milk and string cheese.

What You Can’t Eat
Yes, there are foods that you shouldn’t eat with when receiving orthodontic care.

  • Chewy foods like gum, licorice, bagels, and taffy
  • Hard foods like ice, hard candy, and nuts
  • Crunchy foods like apples, popcorn, and tortilla chips

However, if you love apples, then you can cut them up into small pieces. Hard candy can be popped into your mouth and sucked on until it completely dissolves.

You should also try to eat less sugary foods, because the sugar can form plaque, which can be difficult to brush off or floss away while braces are on your teeth. It’s important to maintain proper oral with braces so that your treatment isn’t interrupted.

The First Week

When you first get braces, you may feel some discomfort and tenderness. You may want to only eat soft foods like Jell-o, applesauce, and soup for a few days. Eventually, the discomfort will go away, and you’ll be able to eat normally.


Invisalign and Invisalign Teen is an orthodontic device that is made from clear plastic aligners. You just pop them out when you’re eating or drinking, and you also take them out when you are brushing and flossing. They make is easy to maintain good oral care while straightening your teeth.

If you have any questions about what you can or can’t eat while wearing braces, give Dr. King a call at either his Wexford or Downtown Pittsburgh office.