What Can I Eat with Braces?

Starting your journey to a straight smile is exciting, but getting used to braces can be tricky. From figuring out how to clean around those brackets and wires to making sure you always have your rubber bands on, there’s a lot to learn. One of the biggest challenges for people with traditional braces is avoiding foods that could break or damage their new appliances.

If you’re worried about food restrictions, you might be wondering, “What can I eat with braces?” but don’t worry, staying away from harmful foods isn’t as tough as it might seem. Andrew Pedersen Orthodontics is here to help you learn about the dos and don’ts of eating with braces, making it easier for you to adjust to a new menu. Keep reading to find out more about this important part of braces care, and get ready for a tasty, braces-friendly recipe we know you’ll love!

Here’s Why Food Restrictions Are Important

Many patients find it challenging to say goodbye to some of their favorite snacks during treatment, but following Dr. Pedersen’s guidelines is super important to keep your treatment plan on track for success. Knowing why you need to stay away from certain foods will help you get that awesome smile you’re looking for, and here’s why. 

Avoid Extra Appointments

Even though they’re made of metal, braces are still delicate appliances, and that means you need to be careful what you eat. Sticky or crunchy foods can damage the brackets holding the braces on your teeth. If you don’t follow Dr. Pedersen’s food recommendations, you could dislodge the brackets or bend the wires, which means you’ll have to come to our office for an extra visit to get them fixed. 

Prevent Longer Treatment Times

When your braces break or bend, it can cause a lot of trouble for your treatment plan. The broken parts won’t be able to help move your teeth into place, which means your braces won’t be as effective. Plus, it could take much longer for your treatment to be completed – up to two extra months per bracket! That’s why it’s important to follow the dietary recommendations and avoid foods that could damage your braces. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that your braces stay in good condition and continue to work effectively towards your end goal.

Your New Menu

Although most of what you’ll eat won’t change too much, your new braces-friendly menu requires you to steer clear of some foods and replace them with other foods that won’t harm your appliances. 

Keep These Foods Off the Menu…

Dr. Pedersen recommends patients stay away from any crunchy, chewy, sticky, or hard foods during orthodontic treatment. You’ll also want to avoid any foods you have to bite directly into, like corn on the cob, ribs, or chicken wings, as these foods put too much pressure on your braces and may cause them to break from your teeth. Here are some examples of foods that are a no-go for braces wearers: 

  • Crunchy foods, like popcorn, ice, or chips
  • Chewy foods, like licorice or bagels
  • Sticky foods, like taffy or caramel
  • Hard food, like pretzels or nuts

It might feel like a challenge avoiding so many of your favorite foods, but remember: it’s not forever, and it will get easier over time! Once you see your straight smile in the mirror, it will all be worth it. 

…And Stick With These Foods Instead!

There are lots of foods that you can eat while getting your teeth straightened, and some of your favorite foods might be on the list! The general rule is that the softer the food, the better it is for your braces because you want to apply as little pressure as possible to your brackets and wires to avoid breaking them. Here are some foods that you can enjoy while undergoing orthodontic treatment at Andrew Pedersen Orthodontics:

  • Pasta (hooray!)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice
  • Soft pretzels
  • Seafood
  • Soups
  • Soft vegetables
  • Soft cheese
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Ice cream

Many of these soft, braces-friendly foods can also be eaten after your appointment to help reduce any discomfort. 

Tip: If you really love foods like chicken wings or corn on the cob, you don’t have to give them up completely! Instead of biting into them directly, try pulling the meat off the bone or cutting your food into smaller pieces to avoid damaging your braces.

Try This Braces-Friendly Smoothie Recipe!

Everyone loves a smoothie, and this soft food combines delicious flavors that are perfect for anyone undergoing orthodontic treatment. 


  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Add the sliced banana, frozen mixed berries, Greek yogurt, almond milk, honey (if using), and vanilla extract to a blender.
  2. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour the smoothie into a glass and enjoy!

This smoothie is packed with vitamins and nutrients, and it’s easy to drink even if you have braces. The banana and berries provide natural sweetness, while the Greek yogurt and almond milk add protein and creaminess. Give it a try, and let us know what you think at your next appointment!

What Can I Eat with Braces?Here to Make You Smile

Dr. Pedersen and our orthodontic team have years of experience correcting smiles all around York, and we can’t wait to help you with yours, too. If you’re ready to start your straight smile journey, look no further. Follow us on Instagram to keep up with all things orthodontics in York, and schedule your free consultation with Dr. Pedersen today!