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Making Life With Braces Easy for Bethel Park patients 

There’s no escaping it – getting braces will impact your lifestyle. However, with just a little bit of effort, you can minimize the impact upon your life and get the most out of your smile investment. The following sections are designed to give you some basic information on how to adjust to your new orthodontic appliances, as well as how to properly care for them and protect them from damage. As always, feel free to contact Cartwright Orthodontics at any time if you have questions!

Eating with Braces

Everyone at Cartwright Orthodontics wants your smile to be fantastic when your braces are removed.  All this takes is a little care and knowing what to avoid, and you can have that great smile!

You will need to limit or even steer clear of certain foods. You can avoid problems while your braces are on by limiting sugar and sodas! If you do eat or drink something high in sugar, rinse your mouth with water or better yet, brush after eating or drinking.  Sugar causes plaque to grow quickly, which can cause swollen gums, decalcification, and tooth decay.  Decalcification is the plaque that damages, or eats away, the enamel on your teeth.  When your braces are removed, your teeth could be discolored and unfortunately, it’s permanent.

Next, you don’t want to eat foods that are sticky or chewy like gum, caramel, taffy, tootsie rolls, gummy bears and other similar candy.  They can pull brackets off the teeth and bend wires. Very hard foods such as ice, Jolly Ranchers and lollipops should be avoided completely – they break everything!

Hard bread like bagels, chewy pizza crust, tortilla chips, hard taco shells, thick pretzels, and kettle-cooked potato chips can all wreak havoc on your appliances.  Please don’t eat popcorn, nuts, and seeds either, as the pieces can get stuck in your appliances or break them.

Hard fruits and vegetables should be cut into bite-sized pieces so you don’t just tear into them with your incisors – let your molars do the work for a while.  But please keep eating your fruits and vegetables too!  Just remember, take small bites.

You can still eat things like ice cream, brownies, cookies, cake, French fries, burger, hot dogs, and pizza (just avoid the crust), no problem.

Below is a list of foods to avoid and foods you can eat.  If you are careful and practice good oral hygiene, you’ll achieve a great smile in the amount of time Dr. Cartwright or Dr. Palmer has estimated.

Foods to Avoid:

Instead of:

  • Hard pretzels
  • Hard taco shells
  • Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos
  • Popcorn
  • Carrot sticks
  • Apples, pears, or peaches
  • Hard rolls, bagels, or crust
  • Ribs, chicken wings, or drumsticks
  • Corn on the cob


  • Soft pretzels or thin pretzel sticks
  • Soft tacos or burritos
  • Cheese puffs, cheese balls, or potato chips
  • Hull-less popcorn
  • Carrot curls or thin sticks
  • Cutting fruit into sections
  • Cutting or breaking bread into small pieces
  • Removing meat from the bone
  • Corn off the cob

Foods to Never Eat