In North America, approximately 4 million people younger than 18 are wearing braces, and four out of every five people in braces are minors. What you eat matters when you’re on an orthodontic treatment journey to a perfect smile.
Discover the essential role of smile-friendly foods during orthodontic treatment. We’ll explore the best foods to keep your braces and smile in tip-top shape.
The importance of smile-friendly foods during orthodontic treatment.
The importance of smile-friendly foods during orthodontic treatment is so important. In an ideal world, you can eat and drink anything with braces. But there are some foods you’ll have to avoid during your treatment—anything that’s hard or sticky.
These foods can wreak havoc on your wires, bands, or even cause a bracket to separate from a tooth. The first and often most common problem braces users will experience are loose or broken brackets. This is often caused by hard or sticky foods that can damage the brackets while eating.
So, let’s get into some recommendations on fun and healthy smile-friendly foods to enjoy while those braces are hard at work, giving you a straighter smile.
Soft and Easy-to-chew Foods
Soft and easy-to-chew foods are your best friends, especially during the initial days of braces. When you first get braces, your mouth can be sensitive, and the adjustment period can be challenging. That’s why opting for soft foods is a smart choice during this time. Consider it a good excuse to indulge in some comforting mac n’ cheese!
For a smooth transition, consider these gentle on the braces options:
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft cheeses
- Soft vegetables
These foods will keep your stomach and your smile happy as you embark on your journey to straighter teeth.
Nutrient-rich Foods for Oral Health
Even though some foods are off-limits with braces, there are still plenty of delicious and nutritious options. Consuming nutrient-rich foods is vital for maintaining optimal oral health during your orthodontic journey.
Focus on foods high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as they support the health of your teeth and the effectiveness of your treatment. Consider including:
- Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in calcium, strengthening your teeth. For a flavorful and nutritious meal, try a spinach and feta stuffed chicken breast.
- Lean proteins: Chicken, turkey, and fish are excellent protein sources. Opt for a grilled salmon with a lemon dill sauce to satisfy your taste buds and nourish your body.
- Dairy products: Low-fat yogurt and cheese provide calcium and phosphorus, essential for healthy teeth. Create a tasty yogurt parfait with fresh berries and fruit for a satisfying snack.
These nutrient-rich foods will keep your teeth strong and contribute to your overall well-being during orthodontic treatment.
Braces-friendly Snacks and Treats
When it comes to snacks and treats during your orthodontic journey, opt for tooth-friendly foods that keep your braces in check while satisfying your cravings. These options make your dentist smile and ensure your smile is on the right track.
- Smoothies: Blend together low-fat yogurt, fresh fruits like strawberries and bananas, and a touch of honey. This braces-friendly smoothie is packed with calcium and vitamin C for healthy teeth and gums.
- Applesauce: A soft and tasty alternative to crunchy apples, applesauce provides vitamins and fiber for oral health. And if you like spending time in the kitchen, try this homemade applesauce recipe.
- Mashed Avocado: Mash up some ripe avocado and spread it on whole-grain toast for a creamy, nutritious snack rich in healthy fats.
- Soft fruit cups: Enjoy soft fruits like peaches, pears, or mandarin oranges in low-sugar juice cups. They provide essential vitamins and are gentle on braces.
Choosing these tooth-friendly snacks will nourish your smile while navigating the braces journey.
Hydration and Water-rich Foods
Staying hydrated is crucial for everyone, whether you have braces or not. It’s the key to maintaining overall health and is especially important during orthodontic treatment.
Children of different age groups have varying daily fluid needs to stay well hydrated. For example, kids aged one to three years require about four cups of beverages per day, including water and milk. This requirement increases to around five cups for four to eight-year-olds and seven to eight cups for older children.
Water plays a vital role in oral health, helping to rinse away food particles and keeping braces clean. It’s the best beverage choice, but water-rich foods like watermelon and grapes can help with hydration.
For a fun twist on hydration, try these kid-friendly, low-sugar beverage recipes:
- Blueberry lemonade slushies: Blend fresh blueberries, a splash of lemon juice, ice, and a touch of honey for a refreshing, braces-friendly slushie.
- Watermelon juice: Puree fresh watermelon chunks for a sweet and hydrating treat that kids will love.
Encouraging kids to enjoy these beverages and water-rich foods will help them stay hydrated and keep their smiles healthy throughout their orthodontic journey.
Foods to Avoid or Minimize
During your orthodontic treatment, it’s essential to steer clear of certain foods, especially those that are hard or sticky. These foods can damage wires and bands or even cause a bracket to come loose from a tooth.
Here’s a list of foods to avoid when you have braces, as recommended by your children’s dentist near Prince Frederick:
- Bagels or hard rolls
- Crunchy vegetables or fruits
- Hard candy
- Hard pretzels or chips
- Pizza crust
- Sticky candy, like caramel, jelly beans, licorice, or taffy
Smile-friendly Foods and a Straight Smile
Parents and kids can support their oral health by embracing smile-friendly foods, staying hydrated, and avoiding brace-unfriendly snacks.
Don’t forget to schedule a checkup with We Make Kids Smile to keep your journey toward a beautiful, healthy smile on track. Request your appointment today!