What kinds of candy are OK for braces?

Having braces can be difficult, especially when it comes to food choices. Many common candies and sweets can get stuck in braces or cause damage to orthodontic appliances. However, there are still plenty of tasty candy options to enjoy, even with a mouth full of metal!

Hard Candy

Hard candies that completely dissolve in your mouth are a good option when you have braces. These candies don’t have any chewy or sticky components that could get caught. Some good choices include:

  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Werther’s Originals
  • Life Savers
  • Mint candies like Altoids
  • Lollipops
  • Dum Dums
  • Smarties

The key is to be sure to fully dissolve the candy before biting down. This prevents any risk of the candy getting stuck in your braces. Sucking on hard candies helps dissolve them thoroughly. Just take care when finishing the candy to avoid biting down directly on your brackets.

Chocolate Candy

Chocolate makes a great braces-friendly candy. Look for softer, smoother types of chocolate over crunchy varieties that could damage braces. Some good options include:

  • Chocolate truffles
  • Fudge
  • Chocolate taffy
  • Meltaways
  • Chocolate-dipped pretzels or fruit
  • Mousse or pudding cups

Avoid chocolate with hard bits like nuts or toffee that could break off and get stuck. Check the consistency before biting down. Let any chocolate dissolve smoothly in your mouth before carefully chewing the rest.

Gummy Candy

Gummy candy like gummy bears, worms, jelly beans, and fruit snacks are usually fine for braces as long as they are soft. Look for gummy candies that are easy to fully chew with braces. Stick to soft, non-sticky textures.

Some gummy candies to avoid are:

  • Gummy fruit slices – these are generally too firm and can be a choking hazard if they get stuck.
  • Gummy candy with sour coatings – the coarse sour sugar can damage brackets.
  • Old or stale gummies – these harden over time and become too firm to chew with braces.

Fresh, soft gummy candies are your best bet. Just be cautious with each bite, chewing thoroughly on the side of your mouth farthest from your orthodontic brackets if needed.

Cotton Candy

Cotton candy is allowed as an occasional treat with braces as long as you consume it carefully. This light, fluffy spun sugar candy easily dissolves into a sticky syrup. Take small bites and let it dissolve smoothly in your mouth before swallowing. Don’t bite down directly onto cotton candy or Orthodontic brackets.


Buttery, chewy caramels are fine for braces as long as you chew cautiously and thoroughly. Look for softer caramels over extremely dense, sticky varieties. Chew slowly on the side of your mouth farthest from brackets. Allow caramels to fully dissolve and soften before biting down. Don’t bite into caramels; this can cause the candy to stick to your braces.

Candies to Avoid

Some popular candies spell trouble for braces. Steer clear of these options:

  • Hard candies – Jawbreakers, candy canes, lollipops with gum or hard candy centers. These can fracture braces.
  • Sticky, chewy candies – Caramel apples, gummies with sour coatings, fruit rolls, licorice, fruit chews, Starbursts, Now and Laters, Gobstoppers.
  • Crunchy candies – Popcorn balls, peanut brittle, Cracker Jacks, Butterfingers, Snickers, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Heath bars. Could damage brackets.
  • Candies with nuts – PayDays, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger BB’s, Snickers with almonds. Nuts can detach and get stuck.

Avoid any candies that are extremely hard, crunchy, chewy, or sticky. These candies can wreak havoc on your braces.

Tips for Enjoying Candy with Braces

Enjoying candy with braces takes some extra care and caution. Here are some top tips:

  • Check the consistency first – Make sure any candy you eat can be chewed smoothly or dissolve easily in your mouth before biting down.
  • Take small bites – Large bites are more likely to damage brackets or appliances.
  • Chew carefully – Chew candy slowly and thoroughly on the side of your mouth farthest from braces. Don’t bite down directly onto brackets.
  • Brush after eating – Brush and floss after consuming candy to avoid trapped food particles and plaque buildup.
  • Avoid sticky sweets before appointments – Extra sticky candy before an orthodontist visit makes cleaning braces more difficult.
  • Use orthodontic wax – Wax can help relieve irritation from braces caused by consuming sweets.
  • Remove candy carefully – If something gets stuck, carefully remove it with dental tools. Don’t pry it off with sharp objects.

With the right precautions, you can satisfy a sweet tooth without damaging your orthodontic work. Take it slow when eating candy, and be prepared to remove it promptly if anything gets stuck. With smart snacking, candies can still be part of enjoying everything delicious life has to offer, even with a mouth full of metal and wires!


Having braces doesn’t mean giving up on candy and sweets altogether. Plenty of tasty, braces-friendly options are available with some thoughtful choices. Dissolving hard candies, smooth chocolate, chewy caramels and soft gummies are all on the table. Just steer clear of dangerously crunchy, sticky or hard candies that can wreak havoc on your orthodontic work. Take small bites, chew carefully on the side of your mouth, and brush diligently after sugary treats. With smart precautions, you can keep enjoying sweet snacks while keeping your smile looking its best.

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