What Foods Should I Avoid with Metal Braces?

Grand Rapids Dentists

What Foods Should I Avoid with Metal Braces?

600 428 Precision Family Dental

What Foods Should I Avoid With Metal Braces

Metal braces can help you achieve your dream smile. But you’ll also need to be mindful of what you eat during treatment.

In general, you’ll need to stay away from foods that are sticky and/or hard to chew. These foods include gum, caramel, hard candy, nuts, bagels, pretzels, and popcorn.

Avoiding these foods will help you avoid an emergency trip to our office.

Here’s what else you should know.

What Can I Eat With Braces on the First Day?

When you first get your metal braces, you may not want to eat food that requires a lot of chewing. This is normal. When you first get braces, you’ll feel pressure on your teeth that’ll go away after a few days.

The good news is that once you get used to wearing braces, the pain won’t be as bad when you have adjustments.

During this period, it may help to eat soft foods. We recommend soups, yogurts, shakes, mashed potatoes, and other foods that need little to no chewing.

Once the pain subsides, continue staying away from foods that are sticky and/or hard to chew.

Patients are often concerned about being able to eat:

  • Pizza
  • French Fries
  • Chips
  • Bread
  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Salad
  • Chocolate

Can I Eat __________ With Braces?


Eat thin-crust pizza. Thick crust can be difficult to chew while wearing dental braces. If you have no control over the type of pizza, eat the pizza, but leave the thick crust behind.

French Fries

As long as they aren’t burnt to a blackened crisp, French fries should be safe for your traditional metal braces.


Most chips are fine, but use your best judgement. Ripple potato chips tend to be harder to chew.


Stay away from croutons, French bread, hard rolls, and other breads that are difficult to chew. Soft breads are fine.

Steak and Chicken

Since meat can be stringy, it’s easy to get little pieces stuck between teeth. We recommend cutting meat into bite-sized pieces. If possible, choose meats that are lean and tender.


Salads are fine with dental braces but skip the croutons.


Chocolate is safe to eat with braces. But limit how much chocolate and other sweets you eat during orthodontic treatment.

The bacteria that live inside your mouth love to eat sugar. In return, they produce an acid that attacks your gums and erodes enamel.

Ask Us About Invisalign® Braces

Invisalign is removable. As such, you’ll be able to continue eating whatever you want during orthodontic treatment. But make sure you brush your teeth after you eat so you don’t stain your clear aligners.

Being able to eat an unrestricted diet is a major advantage of Invisalign braces. But keep in mind that not all of our patients are candidates for Invisalign.

To be a candidate you must be a teenager or adult who has the willpower to wear aligners. Otherwise, the temptation will be too great to remove your new aligners during the first few days. This is when you’ll feel the most pressure on your teeth.

The pressure is a sign that the aligners are working to move your teeth into perfect alignment. But you’ll need to wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours a day to get the results you want.

Related: Why It’s Never Too Late for Adult Braces →

Learn More About Dental Braces

Dr. Piotrowski is an Invisalign dentist in Grand Rapids, MI. He also offers traditional metal braces and Six Month Smiles®. To request an appointment, call Precision Family Dental at (616) 949-1570.

This blog post has been updated.