Smiling teenage girl with braces and long brown hair, wearing a blue tank top.

Everyone deserves a smile they feel proud to show off, and at Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics, we're here to help you achieve one. Our Kansas City & Sedalia orthodontist, Dr. Kurt Kavanaugh, is proud to provide comprehensive orthodontic care to our patients, designing personalized treatment plans for children, teens, and adults receiving orthodontic care. If you choose braces to straighten your teeth, you'll need to make a few changes to your lifestyle to accommodate treatment – and one of the biggest is diet.

Why You Need to Change Your Diet with Braces

Whether you're getting metal braces, clear braces, or lingual braces, the brackets and bands of your braces are attached to your teeth with powerful dental cement. But any adhesive can only be so strong, and certain foods can break the bond or damage your braces. To avoid that, you'll need to make modifications to your diet to prevent damaging your braces. Any foods that are crunchy, hard, sticky, gooey, or chock full of sugar need to be avoided during your treatment. Crunchy and hard foods can break off brackets, sticky foods can attach to appliances and cause damage, and sugary foods can contribute to tooth decay, which can derail your treatment.

Ultimately, you'll need to use common sense when deciding if a food is safe for your braces. But to help you make that determination, here's a partial list of some of the kinds of foods you'll need to avoid while wearing braces.

Hard Foods

  • Ice
  • Chips
  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • Corn on the cob
  • Carrots, pears, apples, and other hard fruits or vegetables (you can eat these if you cut them into small pieces)

Sticky Foods

  • Licorice
  • Toffee
  • Starburst
  • Gum (even sugar free must be avoided)
  • Taffy
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Any and all gummy candies

Sugary Foods

  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Cake
  • Cupcakes
  • Ice Cream
  • Pie

Sugary Drinks (Only Once Per Day)

  • Sweet Tea
  • Kool-Aid
  • Soda
  • Gatorade
  • Any sugary beverage

In addition to avoiding these foods, you should also check your braces regularly to see if any brackets or wires feel loose or unattached. If you do find something loose, call our office right away at 816-420-8100. We'll help determine how serious the problem is and set up a repair appointment.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Kansas City and Sedalia, MO Orthodontist

Cutting these foods from your diet may seem like a serious sacrifice – but trust us, once you see your brand new smile, it'll all be worth it! Feel free to contact us if you have more questions on the kinds of foods you can and cannot eat, and don't hesitate to request an appointment at our Kansas City or Sedalia office using our easy online form. We can't wait to hear from you, and whether you're pursuing braces, Invisalign, or any other treatment we offer, we're excited to help you achieve the smile of your dreams!