What Foods to Avoid with Braces

Dr. Deborah Himelhoch and the team at Smiles in Framingham in Framingham MA treats patients of all ages with braces all over the Middlesex County MA area including Southborough MA, Marlborough MA, Ashland MA, Wayland MA and Natick MA. One of there most common questions is “what foods to avoid with braces?” The truth is there are number of things to avoid because they can actually break your braces. But this shouldn’t intimidate you, the team at Smiles in Framingham in Framingham MA is here to help! It is always important to be cautious and care for your braces so that your final smile can be revealed as soon and as beautifully as possible.

This is a list of foods – and a few non-edible items! – that have the potential to damage your orthodontic appliances and slow down your treatment time.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

Foods high in sugar content:

Foods high in sugar content should be limited. There are some occasions, like Halloween and the upcoming holidays that they are consumed and perhaps in mass quantities; just we sure you are able to brush immediately afterward. Avoid gum and soda containing sugar. These foods have the potential to cause heavy plaque build-up. The combination of sugar and plaque causes acid in the mouth, which can lead to swollen gums, white spots on the teeth, and decay.

foods to avoid with braces

Chewy Candies:

Although it might be hard for your child this holiday season, Dr. Himelhoch of Smiles in Framingham in Framingham MA says it is best to avoid these and similar candies altogether. Candies like caramel, taffy, Skittles, Starburst, and even chewing gums such as Bubble Yum are bad for braces. Aside from being very sugary, these candies are sticky and chewy enough that they can actually pull your orthodontic appliance away from your teeth. This will require an appointment to re-affix the appliance and slow down treatment progress.

Foods that you would normally bite into with your front teeth:

These foods don’t have to be completely cut out of your diet, just cut up into bite-sized pieces before being eaten so that they may be chewed with the back molars. This includes foods such as apples, carrots, corn-on-the-cob, celery, spareribs and other meat with bones.

Hard Foods:

Some foods are just too tough to safely bite into with braces. These include ice, popcorn, hard French bread, hard sticky candies and nuts. Biting into these can bend or break your wires and brackets. Popcorn has the further potential to become lodged in your gums underneath the bracket, which can severely irritate your gums.

Chewing on Non-edible Items:

We all have nervous habits, but chewing on other non-edible hard items like pens and pencils can also warp or damage your braces.

Picking at Your Braces:

Picking at your braces with your fingers or biting on your fingernails is not a good idea for a few reasons. Incessant picking may dislodge your appliance, and it is unhealthy to expose your teeth to the bacteria that often works its way underneath fingernails. It is important to maintain healthy teeth over the duration of orthodontic treatment. Healthy teeth and gums help speed up tooth movement!

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Dr. Himelhoch and the team at Smiles in Framingham are experts in braces. If you have any questions pertaining to Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, braces and clear braces in Framingham MA, Middlesex County MA, 01702, Southborough MA, Marlborough MA, Ashland MA, Wayland MA and Natick MA or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Himelhoch contact Smiles in Framingham at: 508-872-0555

To all my wonderful patients and their families:


The greatest pleasures of my career are watching children grow strong and healthy and seeing smiles become more beautiful. It has been a tremendous privilege to be a part of that growth and transformation. Now, however, it is time for me to slow down and share the care of my patients.


Starting in September 2022, Smiles in Framingham will merge with Moynihan Dental Specialists. I will remain with the practice, but will reduce my hours and give up administrative responsibilities. The wonderful team of people you and I have come to rely on will be staying. They will continue to help care for you. There will also be new faces, new people who will get to know and care for and about you.


Dr. Michael Moynihan is a second generation dentist and orthodontist practicing in Framingham. Dr. Mike, as he is known, is on the faculty of Boston University in the department of orthodontics. We spent two years as teaching partners supervising the Boston University orthodontic residents as they treated special needs children at Franciscan Hospital for Children. It was during that time I came to appreciate both how skilled Dr. Mike is and how much he cares about his patients. I retired from teaching prior to the pandemic, but Dr. Mike still puts much of his time and energy into teaching the next generation of orthodontists.


I met Dr. Daniel Moynihan when he was my student in 2017. Even at that time he was one of my most conscientious students. He cares deeply about all of his patients and I am proud to be associated with him. Dr. Dan is highly skilled with all aspects of orthodontics, including treatment using Invisalign and other aligners.


Dr. Katherine Moynihan and Dr. Christine Chiao are other members of the Moynihan team. Dr. Katherine Moynihan finished her orthodontic training at Boston University in 2021. Dr. Christine Chiao is a pediatric dentist, who also teaches at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine.


Life is an adventure with many chapters, twists, and turns. I enter this chapter of my life looking forward to what comes next and feeling some sadness that this phase of my life is changing. For now, we will be keeping all appointments as scheduled. We will contact you individually about any appointment changes. All orthodontic contracts will be honored with care provided by the orthodontists. I have every confidence that the doctors of Moynihan Dental Specialists will provide you with excellent care for many years to come.


My very best wishes to all of you,


Dr. Deborah Himelhoch