Diet while undergoing orthodontics

How to eat an apple with braces?

Though orthodontic treatments these days are designed to accommodate your lifestyle, you will no doubt need to make some dietary modifications to prevent damage to your braces and the risk of prolonging orthodontic treatment.

The first few days wearing braces may be the most restrictive. During this time, the adhesive is still curing which means you will need to consume only soft foods. This probably will not be a problem, however, as your teeth may be tender or sensitive while adjusting to the appliances.

The best foods to eat with braces are those that are not high in sugar and do not require excessive chewing. You can eat most foods normally the way you did without braces, but some foods can damage orthodontic appliances or cause them to come loose. Anyone who wears braces should avoid excessive snacking and aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Examples of foods you should avoid include:

  • Chewy foods like caramels, chewing gum, beef jerky, and bagels.
  • Hard foods like peanuts, ice chips, hard lollies and pork crackling.
  • Crunchy foods like chips, apples and carrots.

The good news is you may still be able to enjoy some of the foods you love by making certain modifications to the way you eat them. Steam or roast carrots, remove the corn from the cob, cut up apples and pears and dip hard biscuits into milk to soften them! If you are unsure whether a food is safe to eat during your treatment, err on the side of caution.

Regardless of what types of foods you eat with braces, it is important to keep the crevices between the teeth and around the braces very clean. That means brushing and flossing after meals to prevent the build-up of plaque and decay. Not only can failing to do so damage your teeth,  it can also cause discolouration.

This Australian Society of Orthontists' post was based on content supplied by South East Orthodontics.