What Can and Can't I Eat with Braces?

temp-post-imageOne of the biggest concerns you likely have about living with braces is what you will no longer be able to eat. Check out this list to see some foods you can't eat—and see some you can!


This list is not exhaustive. Consult a board-certified orthodontist or contact us in El Paso, TX if you have questions or need specific advice.


Avoid these foods:

  • Hard

    • Nuts, hard pretzels, thick tortilla chips, hard-crusted bread, hard candy

  • Crunchy

    • Chips, ice

  • Chewy

    • Bagels, hard rolls, chewy meats, licorice

  • Sticky

    • Gum, taffy, caramels, Sugar Daddies, Starbursts, caramel apples, Sugar Babies, licorice, toffee, Tootsie Rolls, Now and Laters

  • Sugary

    • Soda, most candies

  • Have to be bitten into

    • Corn on the cob, apples, carrots

  • Have to be torn with teeth

    • Thick bagels, thick pizza crust, large hard pretzels

  • Might get stuck in your braces

    • Popcorn

  • Require big mouthfuls


These foods are okay:

  • Dairy

    • Soft cheese, string cheese, yogurt, milk-based drinks

  • Breads/Grains

    • Soft-crusted bread, toast*, sandwiches*, pizza*, burritos, hamburgers and hot dogs*, rice, mac & cheese, pasta, soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts, cereals (not hard granola)

  • Meat/Poultry

    • Non-chewy meats*, cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats, eggs

  • Seafood

    • Fish, salmon, crab cakes, sushi

  • Vegetables/Fruits, Legumes, Tubers

    • Vegetables, fruits, mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans, applesauce

  • Desserts and Treats

    • Marshmallow, soft cakes, cake desserts (for example, Twinkies), soft cookies, soft crackers, Pirate's Booty (popcorn substitute), Jell-O, pudding

  • Salad

  • Soup

  • Drinks

    • Low-sugar and non-carbonated, fruit smoothies, fruit juice, milkshakes

*Must be bite-sized

Must be soft (naturally or after cooked) or sliced

Interested in Braces?

Check out the different types of braces to see what's right for you. Contact JT Orthodontics on our website or call 915-581-5476 to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Teng.