The impact of diet and nutrition on orthodontic treatment 

It’s important to look after your teeth, and your diet, when undergoing orthodontic treatment. So, what should you eat? And are there foods you should avoid?  

We answer your burning questions below! 

What role does diet play in orthodontics? 

For the most part, you shouldn’t have to change your diet when undergoing orthodontic treatment. However, there are certain food – like those high in sugar – that you should avoid to ensure your teeth stay healthy and your appliances (such as braces) undamaged. There’s more on the foods to avoid later in this article! 

Does orthodontic treatment have an effect on children’s diets? 

Orthodontic treatment with braces is unlikely to affect your child’s diet. But it may impact the way they eat food – including how they chew, bite and swallow. As mentioned above, there are some foods that your child should avoid – particularly those that are extra chewy, crunchy or sticky. But their overall nutrition and diet shouldn’t change. It’s a good idea to maintain a balanced and healthy diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables. 

Foods to eat during treatment  

There’s lots of foods you can enjoy when undergoing orthodontic treatment! The best foods are low in sugar and don’t require excessive chewing including:  

  • Good carbohydrates like bread, rice and pasta 
  • Soft foods like soup, stew and mashed vegetables 
  • Fruit and vegetables, especially when cooked until soft or cut into small, bite-sized pieces 
  • Soft dairy products, like cheese and yogurt  
  • Meat, poultry, fish, tofu and other protein-rich foods that can be cooked until tender 

Foods to avoid during treatment 

When you have braces, it’s important to steer clear of certain foods that can damage the brackets and wires or become lodged in them, causing discomfort. Additionally, sugary foods and drinks should be consumed in moderation to prevent tooth decay. By being mindful of your diet, you can help care for your braces and keep your orthodontic treatment on track (and to avoid any unplanned trips to the orthodontist!). These foods include:  

  • Chewy foods such as lollies and liquorice 
  • Crunchy foods like apples and raw carrots that you have to bite into with force 
  • Sticky foods such as caramel and bubble gum 
  • Hard foods like nuts and pretzels 
  • Sugary foods such as lollies  
  • Sweet drinks including fruit juice, cordial, soft drinks and energy drinks 

Taking care of your oral health and eating a balanced diet is essential when going through orthodontic treatment. By following the tips mentioned above, you can make your orthodontic journey smoother and more comfortable. Remember to steer clear of foods that can damage your braces, limit sugary foods and drinks, and incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet. If you have any questions or concerns about what to eat, ask your trusted, specialist orthodontist. They’re always happy to help! 

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