What happens when you eat fruit snacks with braces?

Quick Summary

Eating fruit snacks with braces can lead to a few issues. The biggest concern is that fruit snacks can get stuck in braces quite easily due to their sticky, gummy texture. This can cause pain, discomfort and potential damage to braces. Fruit snacks are also high in sugar, which is not ideal for dental health when wearing braces. With proper oral hygiene and careful eating, fruit snacks can be enjoyed in moderation with braces. But they should be avoided as a regular snack.

Can You Eat Fruit Snacks with Braces?

Yes, you can eat fruit snacks with braces, but you need to be careful. Fruit snacks are soft, chewy and sticky, which means they can easily get caught in braces. When fruit snack pieces get stuck in braces, they can cause irritation, pain and discomfort in the teeth and gums. Pieces of fruit snacks stuck in braces can also damage or even break wires and brackets if they are not removed promptly.

However, with some precautions, fruit snacks can be enjoyed in moderation while wearing braces. You’ll want to be careful when chewing fruit snacks. Try to chew them completely and carefully to avoid having large sticky pieces get caught in the braces. It’s also a good idea to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth after eating fruit snacks to dislodge any remaining pieces. You may also want to consider rinsing with water after eating fruit snacks as well. Avoiding sticky, gummy fruit snacks and choosing dried fruit snacks instead can also lower your chances of getting food stuck in braces.

Risks of Eating Fruit Snacks with Braces

Here are some of the potential risks and issues that can arise from eating fruit snacks with braces:

Food getting stuck in braces

The biggest risk is pieces of fruit snacks getting lodged into braces. The sticky, gummy texture can adhere to brackets, wires and elastic bands very easily. This can cause irritation in the gums as well as pain from the constant pressure placed on teeth from stuck food.

Tooth decay

Most fruit snacks have added sugar or corn syrup. The combination of sugar and the stickiness of fruit snacks means the sugary residue can cling to braces and teeth for a long time. This allows cavity-causing bacteria to feast on the sugar, raising the risk of tooth decay.

Damage to braces

When sticky fruit snack pieces become firmly wedged into braces, patients might be tempted to poke around and pry them out. This can lead to damaged wires, broken brackets and shifted teeth from improper removal.

Gum inflammation

Fruit snack pieces wedged under or around braces can press into and irritate gums. This can cause redness, swelling, discomfort and other signs of gum inflammation.

What to Do if Fruit Snacks Get Stuck in Braces

If a piece of fruit snack does become lodged in your braces, avoid the temptation to poke at it or pull on it. Here are some recommended steps to safely dislodge and remove fruit snacks caught in braces:

Rinse your mouth

After eating fruit snacks, rinse your mouth thoroughly with lukewarm water. This can help dislodge some pieces.

Use an oral irrigator

Gently rinse around the stuck food using an oral irrigator on a low setting. The stream of water can help loosen the fruit snack without damaging braces.

Swish mouthwash

Mouthwash can help dissolve sticky sugary residues. Gently swish and rinse to clear away clinging particles.

Brush and floss

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush all around the braces. Carefully floss up and down between each wire and tooth. Never yank out a stuck fruit snack with floss.

Use an interdental cleaner

Interdental cleaners like proxabrushes can dislodge stuck fruit snacks. Gently move the cleaner up and down around the braces.

See an orthodontist

If a piece remains stuck, call your orthodontist to have them safely remove it. Never use sharp tools to dig out a stuck fruit snack yourself.

Tips for Preventing Fruit Snacks From Getting Stuck

Here are some tips to help minimize the chances of fruit snacks getting caught in your braces:

Chew thoroughly

Chewing fruit snacks slowly and completely before swallowing gives less opportunity for large sticky pieces to lodge into braces.

Avoid sticky, gummy kinds

Choose softer dried fruit snacks rather than gummy fruit snacks which can adhere more aggressively.

Cut into smaller pieces

Cutting fruit snacks into bite-sized portions makes them easier to fully chew before swallowing.

Rinse after eating

Always rinse your mouth after eating fruit snacks to flush away leftover sticking particles.

Brush and floss after

Proper oral hygiene after consuming fruit snacks can remove debris before it permanently wedges into braces.

Avoid excessive amounts

Only eat a small portion of fruit snacks at a time to limit how much could get stuck.

Best and Worst Fruit Snacks for Braces

Some fruit snacks are safer for braces than others. Here are some good fruit snack options as well as ones to avoid:

Best Fruit Snacks

  • Dried fruit like raisins, apricots and apples – less sticky
  • Fruit leather – chewy but less gummy
  • 100% fruit snacks without added sugar
  • Freeze dried fruit crisps

Worst Fruit Snacks

  • Gummy fruit snacks – stickiest consistency
  • Sugary fruit snacks with added corn syrup
  • Fruit snacks in tough plastic containers – requires prying out
  • Fruit snacks with small, hard-to-see pieces

Nutritional Value of Fruit Snacks

Many commercially produced fruit snacks don’t actually contain much real fruit or deliver much nutritional benefit. Here’s a look at the nutrition profile of typical fruit snacks:


Around 80-100 calories per standard pouch serving.


Most contain 10-15g of added sugar per serving, accounting for majority of calories.


Contain very minimal fiber since they lack much real fruit. Usually less than 1g per serving.

Vitamins and minerals

Some brands fortify snacks with small amounts of vitamins C, A and E. But levels are low compared to actual fruits.

Artificial ingredients

Often loaded with artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and preservatives.


Can be high in sodium, with some containing 10% or more of daily value per serving.

Oral Health and Braces

Proper oral hygiene and limiting sugary snacks like fruit snacks is important for maintaining good dental health when wearing braces. Here are some tips:

Brush and floss thoroughly after eating

Prevent buildup of sugary debris that leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

Avoid constant snacking

Frequent snacking means food is constantly coating your teeth.

Prioritize nutritious snacks

Choose vegetables, cheeses, nuts and other healthier snacks instead of sweets.

Drink plenty of water

Water neutralizes acid and helps wash away food particles.

Don’t miss orthodontic appointments

Get braces adjusted regularly to prevent issues like trapped food debris.

Invisalign Alternatives to Braces

For those wanting to minimize issues with food getting stuck, Invisalign clear aligners may be an alternative to traditional braces. Here are some benefits of Invisalign:

  • Removable – Easy to take out for eating
  • Less food entrapment issues
  • Clear design – Less noticeable than braces
  • Allows for normal brushing and flossing

However, Invisalign still requires discipline to achieve results. Aligners must be worn 20-22 hours per day and removed properly for eating and cleaning.

Risks of Failing to Remove Trapped Fruit Snacks

It’s important to promptly remove any trapped fruit snacks for the following reasons:

Tooth decay

Trapped sugary fruit snacks in contact with teeth for an extended period almost guarantees cavity formation.

Gum disease

Buildup of trapped food debris can inflame gums and provide breeding ground for harmful bacteria.


Constant irritation against the gums and pressure on teeth from lodged food causes pain.

Broken braces

Excess force from firmly wedged fruit snacks can warp or snap wires and brackets.

Shifted teeth

Trapped debris can gradually push teeth out of alignment from repeated pressure.

When to Call the Orthodontist

Contact your orthodontist promptly if:

  • A fruit snack piece remains stuck after trying to remove it yourself
  • Braces feel damaged, loose or broken
  • You experience excessive discomfort, bleeding or irritation
  • Tooth feels like it was shifted out of place

Don’t delay calling, as leaving issues unchecked can lead to bigger problems. Describe the issue and follow any recommendations for managing pain until the visit.

Pain Relief for Discomfort from Trapped Fruit Snacks

Here are some tips for relieving soreness caused by fruit snacks caught in braces:

Salt water rinse

Gargle with warm salt water to soothe irritation and inflammation.

Cold compress

Applying an ice pack or cold compress to the outside of the mouth can temporarily numb discomfort.

Oral pain relievers

Over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve dental pain.

Topical anesthesia

Products like Orajel applied directly to the irritated area can provide numbing.

Soft diet

Stick to soft, mild temperature foods until the discomfort subsides.

Foods to Avoid with Braces Besides Fruit Snacks

In addition to sticky, chewy fruit snacks, here are some other foods that should be avoided or minimized while wearing braces:

  • Hard candy
  • Chewy caramel
  • Taffy
  • Gummy bears
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Hard pretzels
  • Ice cubes
  • Crusty bread
  • Corn on the cob

These foods can also get trapped in braces, damage brackets and wires, or are just difficult to properly chew and clean out of braces.


While fruit snacks are not necessarily prohibited with braces, they do pose a high risk of getting stuck and causing problems. Limiting sugary fruit snacks and thoroughly cleaning teeth after eating them can help minimize issues. But avoiding chewy, sticky fruit snacks altogether is the safest approach to protect your braces and your oral health while achieving your best smile. With some thoughtful precautions, braces and fruit snacks can coexist in moderation.

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