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Eating with Braces: Nutritional Tips for Orthodontic Patients in Bend

Orthodontic treatment is a life-changing experience for patients in Bend, Oregon. Braces can improve the function and appearance of crooked, misaligned, or overcrowded teeth. But it’s essential for orthodontic patients to be mindful of what they eat during treatment. Consuming the right foods can reinforce healthy dental hygiene and accelerate treatment. Here are a few nutritional tips and tricks to help improve oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment.

Foods to Avoid

While orthodontic treatment typically lasts for a few months, it can take up to two years. During that time, it is essential to avoid certain hard, chewy, and sticky foods that could damage braces or get stuck in them. For example, hard and sticky candies should be avoided – bitting down on them can damage braces. Also, hard crusts – such as in French bread, pizza crusts, bagels, and pretzels – can be too hard to eat for some orthodontic patients. Chewy and sticky foods, like caramel, taffy, and gum, can easily get stuck on braces, making it challenging to clean.

Foods to Embrace

A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products promotes healthy teeth and gums. Dates, avocados, cucumbers, and banana chips are excellent options since they provide essential vitamins and nutrients while giving orthodontic patients a break from eating hard or sticky foods. Leafy greens, like spinach, kale, and arugula, help promote oral health, as they contain essential vitamins and nutrients that keep the gums healthy. Orthodontic patients can consider blending these vegetables into smoothies for a nutrient boost. Dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and calcium-fortified milk are also excellent options for improving oral hygiene. Not only are they rich in essential vitamins like calcium, they also help promote strong bones and teeth. Look for non-sticky cheeses and yogurts that are less likely to get stuck in braces.

Oral Care and Hygiene Tips

Eating the right foods is just one element of maintaining good oral hygiene while wearing braces. It’s also essential to brush and floss daily, and rinse with mouthwash to help remove debris that can be trapped between the braces. After eating, orthodontic patients should be sure to rinse their mouths thoroughly to help remove any foods that may be stuck in the braces. It’s also important to check braces, wires, and orthodontic appliances regularly, as they can become damaged of out of place. If damage occurs, it’s important to have the orthodontist repair them as soon as possible.


Eating with braces can be challenging, but orthodontic patients can take steps to eat a balanced diet that keeps their teeth healthy. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products promotes healthy teeth and gums while taking precautions to avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage braces. Following these nutritional tips and implementing good dental hygiene practices can help ensure a successful orthodontic treatment for patients in Bend.