Diet and Orthodontics
Diet during Orthodontic Treatment
The various components of orthodontic braces can be very fragile and become detached or damaged if you consume certain foods and drinks. This will invariably prolong your treatment since these components will have to be replaced.
See also: Early Diagnosis | Preventative Treatments | Oral Hygiene
The correct diet during orthodontic treatment ensures that your braces remain safe and functional, and of course that your teeth remain healthy! Having orthodontic brackets on your teeth can also make cleaning more difficult and hence good oral hygiene habits become even more crucial during orthodontic treatment.
Here are some guidelines that can help you to get the best out of your treatment:
- Avoid sticky or hard foods (such as toffees, caramels, boiled or gummy sweets). Crunching on hard foods can put pressure on your braces that may alter their actions or break them off. Cut up harder foods like crunchy apples or raw carrots into smaller slices before chewing them. Be careful of stones in some fruit!
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks between main meals. These can increase your susceptibility to dental decay and gum infection.
- Straight after your braces have been fitted and for the next 2-3 days, it is advisable to have a softer diet that involves little chewing like soup, pasta, soft rice and yogurt. You may also find it useful to cut up foods to avoid using your teeth to bite into them like sandwiches, fruit and vegetable.
- Limit acidic fruit juices and fizzy drinks. These can cause acid erosion of your teeth destroying the enamel. Apart from the damage, it can leave your teeth looking unattractive when the braces come off.
- Brush your teeth regularly preferably with a fluoride toothpaste. This is particularly important when food debris can easily become lodged within the brace components. If food debris and plaque ( collection of bacteria) is not continually removed you can be left with permanent unsightly marks and damage to your teeth.
- Try to limit your food consumption to 3 times a day to avoid constantly having to clean the food debris on your teeth. It is also better for neutralizing the acid levels in your mouth. Acidic conditions (straight after eating) can enhance bacterial action.
A healthy balanced diet with good oral hygiene care is important for the most optimal outcome for your orthodontic treatment.
If you have any concerns or would like further help please ask your hygienist, orthodontic therapist or our specialist orthodontist. They would all be happy to help.