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If you’re thinking about making the amazing choice of getting braces and improving your smile, you likely have questions about what foods you can’t eat.  Don’t worry!  There are many, many braces-friendly foods you can still enjoy during treatment without any qualms.  However, there will be foods you will have to give up for a short while.  But here at JT Orthodontics in El Paso, we can guarantee that giving up any food temporarily is worth the new healthy and confident smile we’ll give you.  Who would say no to peanuts for a while in exchange for perfect teeth and good looks?

When You First Get Braces

Like any change, the first few days with braces will be the hardest.  Your mouth and teeth might be sensitive during the days following your first appointment.  Att JT Orthodontics, we will provide tips and tricks to help you work through this adjustment.  For example, Tylenol/Advil can help relieve initial pain.  Because your teeth may be sensitive, it is best to stick to soft foods in the beginning.  Avoid tough meats, hard bread, and raw vegetables during the initial period.  Anything easy to chew is a great choice!  Examples include:

  • Oatmeal
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soups
  • Pasta
  • Seafood
  • Soft vegetables
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft cheeses
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt

As soon as your teeth adjust to having braces, you can go back to chewy meats and bread, raw veggies, ice cream, spicy foods, and citrus fruits.  However, you’ll need to protect your orthodontics appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.  The first thing you must learn to do is cut up your food into small pieces and use your back teeth for chewing.

Foods to Ban With Braces

Unfortunately, there are certain foods to avoid during treatment.  Generally hard and sticky foods should be avoided. These foods can damage your wires or bands or even cause a bracket to separate from a tooth.  Here are some examples of foods you can’t eat:

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, hard chips
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, hard pretzels, hard breads
  • Sugary items: candy, sodas, gummies
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots, meat on the bone

Eating these foods, as well as chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils, or fingernails) can damage the braces. When a bracket (brace) comes loose and is no longer attached to your tooth, that tooth is no longer moving. It could even begin moving back to where it started! Loose and broken braces will cause treatment to take longer and could lead to poorer results. If you do have a loose or broken bracket, it will more than likely still be attached to the wire, but not the tooth, causing it to slide along the wire. At JT Orthodontics, you can call our office if this occurs so that we can schedule you for a repair appointment. Please use our provided wax to avoid any irritation until your repair appointment!

During treatment, you still need to keep your regular dental cleanings/check-ups every 6 months with your general dentist. Braces, themselves, do not cause cavities, but poor oral hygiene during braces treatment definitely can, you must maintain proper oral hygiene while in treatment.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips to help you through this transitional time.  Remember, we at JT Orthodontics are here to help and make this the best experience possible, so don’t hesitate to ask questions.

  1. Eat a meal before your appointments, in case you feel soreness after your orthodontic appointment
  2. You can take Tylenol (follow the dosage information on the bottle) about 30 minutes before your braces bonding appointment and any wire-adjustment appointments
  3. Use chapstick/lip balm at your appointments! We can provide you with some, or you can bring your favorite kind with you.
  4. Some patients can develop canker sores throughout orthodontic treatment. Rinses can be purchased at any drugstore to alleviate mouth sores.
  5. Before going to bed, pack wax on top of any new brackets, to avoid any new sores when you wake up! If you heat the wax by kneading it between your fingers for a few moments, it is more likely to stick to the brackets for a longer period of time.

Invisalign/Clear Aligners

JT Orthodontics is also a top Invisalign provider in El Paso and clear aligners are another excellent choice at our practice.  Just like braces, clear aligners will give you that perfect smile that will enhance your self-confidence.  However, unlike with braces, you are able to eat anything you’d like with clear aligners!  Simply take out your aligners whenever you eat and make sure to brush/floss before putting them back in.  If you have any further questions about the difference and what option is best for you, we provide free treatment consultations which you can schedule over the phone or here on our website (buttons on the right).


In conclusion, while there are certain foods to avoid when you have braces, there are still plenty of delicious options you can enjoy throughout your treatment. The initial adjustment period may require you to stick to soft foods, but as your teeth adapt, you can gradually reintroduce foods. Remember to cut your food into small pieces in the beginning and use your back teeth for chewing to protect your braces. It’s important to avoid hard, sticky, and sugary foods that can damage your wires or brackets. Maintaining good oral hygiene and attending regular dental check-ups are crucial for a successful outcome. At JT Orthodontics, we are here to support you and provide help to make your braces journey as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. EmBRACE the temporary sacrifices for the long-term benefits of a healthy and confident smile!

5-Star Reviews

Patients Love Us!

I am so glad I chose JT Orthodontics for my Invisalign treatment. Dr. Teng is the best! His expertise and attention to detail is evident. They took the time to thoroughly explain my treatment options, patiently answering all my questions and addressing any concerns I had. This level of care, and the Doctor’s qualifications have made me feel confident and well-informed throughout my treatment.

Gabriela Garcia

We would like to thank Dr. Teng and all his staff for the AMAZING job they did on our daughter Melani. From start to finish the experience has been wonderful. We definitely will return with our other daughters.

melissa pinon

My experience with JT Orthodontics significantly improved my quality of life. I had chronic jaw and neck pain for over 20 years. I had tried massage, countless retainers from dentists, acupuncture, dry needling, and physical therapy. Nothing had worked. Within three weeks of starting my Invisalign treatment, my pain went away. Dr. Teng and his team were amazing. I am free from pain!

Katy Freytag

Mylie, Eliana, Mariah, and lulu always makes it a great time being there! I had the pleasure of having all of them help me out and taking great care of me! They make the this process so much easier! The staff is always so welcoming and caring!

Miguel Grijalva

Eliana and Bo and Mylie and Mariah were the best when I was getting my braces thank you guys so much


Dr. Jesse Teng and the staff at JT Orthodontics are absolutely the best. From the first appointment of explaining the whole process to getting my braces and alingers, I have been at ease. This has been a great journey and I would highly recommend him.

Louise Ross

I had a very positive experience with JT Orthodontist they are very efficient and practiced throughout my time there

neveah knott

The best Dr and staff !! super friendly & very professional , awesome customer service!! , I will recommend to everyone JT Orthodontics East El Paso location the best!! Great work team!

Maribel Villarreal

Dr. Teng is great, he is very meticulous about his treatment plans and will find the best solutions to ensure I have the perfect smile. All his staff from front desk to dental assistants are all very sweet and professional. I always love going to my appointments, there’s never any wait to be seen and the appointment itself is very quick. The office runs very efficiently. I love the progress I have had with my smile and I am very happy that I chose JT Orthodontics.

Jacqueline Barrera

Very professional and helpful. The environment was comfortable and fun. I would highly recommend to anyone looking to get something done. Lulu and Eliana were very helpful and the team extremely kind!

Leah N

Dr. Teng and his team have been so helpful and knowledgeable throughout my braces journey. They provide an excellent customer service experience with 0 judgement and are always willing to answer any questions I've had along the way and get me EXCITED for my progress! I'm so glad I went with JT Orthodontics for their knowledge, experience, service, and flexible payments. I will hands down always refer them to anyone looking to improve their smile!

April Palomino

Super friendly and awesome staff! Came for my oldest years ago now here for my youngest. We love the positive atmosphere!


Everyone was very friendly and informative. My daughter and I felt welcomed and confident in the doctor and staff. The treatment plan was clearly explained to us as well as the financial information. We’re looking forward to continuing my daughter’s treatment here.

Pamela Almodovar

Dr. Teng and his staff are fantastic! I was a bit nervous about wearing Invisalign, but Lulu was kind and patient while explaining the process and made the experience comfortable. Thank you Lulu!

Amanda Torres

Love coming in for my visits! Dr. And staff are all wonderful and kind! I’m always in and out quickly!

Michelle Perez

JT Orthodontics is the best! Dr. Tend and his staff are amazing (thank you Eliana, Stephanie, Rose & Desiree).

Desi Gonzales

Love how fast the appointments are. You go in and out, great service, and it’s always nice and clean. Definitely recommend Dr. Teng, he’s also very nice and thorough. Been coming here for about 1 year now.

Christian Felix

I’ve been going to JT Ortho-East for Invisalign services, and the entire process has been a fantastic experience from start to finish.After just having completed my Orthodontic treatment with them, I can honestly say that Dr. Tang, as well as every other staff member I’ve interacted with, has been fantastic every step of the way! On top of that, they are all incredibly personable, helpful, kind, and respectful individuals, making for an excellent visit each time.Overall, I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for top-tier, family-friendly orthodontic services with a highly-talented staff that genuinely cares about the well-being of their customers throughout the entirety of the process.

Alan Briones

Long road for braces with a professional staff. Thanks! Only issue is how busy they are…it takes a while to get appointments

Kimberly Baxter

Hands down BEST corrective work, professionalism, and staff Ive ever delt with. My exceptions were exceeded and now I have a beautiful smile that I didnt know I could have. Cant stop smiling and Im leveling up!! Nothin Better!!!

Tiffany Boyle

I wanted to leave a quick review for Lulu. She removed my brackets and was so efficient!. Her work and customer service were stellar! Thank you Lulu for being so patient and understanding!

Lisa Mojica