Eating Right During Orthodontic Treatment: 5 Tips for a Balanced Diet

Most patients who see their orthodontist in Melbourne for braces do so between the ages of 10 and 14. Since kids this age are still growing, a balanced diet is crucial for proper development. While undergoing treatment with braces, some necessary changes to the patient’s diet occur. This has to be balanced with proper nutrition, which can be challenging. So, how do you eat right during orthodontic treatment? Here are five tips for a balanced diet.

  1. Diet the First Week with Braces

The first few days after having braces installed are always the most extensive adjustment period. The braces will place unfamiliar pressure on the teeth. You’re also adjusting to how to chew foods with a new appliance in your mouth. The rule of thumb for the first week is to stick to soft foods, but what we need to think of are soft and healthy foods. Here are some examples for the first week of adjusting to braces.

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Seafood, especially soft fish
  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas 
  • Yogurt
  • Soups 
  • Pasta
  • Soft, cooked veggies
  • Mashed potatoes

Notice that the list includes a nice mix of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Although it may seem limiting, this is only the first week of your journey with braces, and you’ll be able to expand the list of food options as time goes by.

2. Best Foods for a Great Smile

Once you’ve adjusted to braces, your diet should settle in and be pretty routine for the rest of treatment. You want to hit all the major food groups every day while avoiding crunchy, hard, or sticky foods that can cause problems for your braces. Here are some examples of how to maintain a balanced diet until the braces come off:


  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Lunch meat
  • Meatballs
  • Meatloaf
  • Shredded chicken

Fruits and Veggies:

  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Beans (refried or cooked until soft)
  • Grapes
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Watermelon


  • Cottage cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Milk
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt

Breads and Grains:

  • Cooked pastas
  • Mac and cheese
  • Muffins (no nuts)
  • Oatmeal
  • Pancakes or waffles
  • Rice

3. Important: Diet After Braces Adjustment

In research published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, doctors studied the nutritional habits of teens with braces during routine adjustments. They checked patients’ diets in the days before and after having their archwires adjusted. They found that in the three days after adjustment, many patients ate more saturated fats at the expense of carbohydrates and fiber. 

Parents should be aware of this and ensure their child with braces pays attention to their diet every time the braces are adjusted. During these days, make it a point to make pasta for carbs and oatmeal for fiber, and try to avoid anything with saturated fats.

4. Cooking and Food Prep with Braces

If you don’t already have a crockpot in your kitchen, this can be a great addition when you have a household member with braces. A crockpot allows you to soft-cook meats, potatoes, vegetables, and rice until they are the perfect consistency for eating with braces. They’re also easy to learn to cook with if it is your first time using one. 

Another essential food preparation tip to be aware of is that many foods are acceptable if you cut them into bite-sized pieces first. Normal dentition involves biting and pulling at foods with our teeth, but you want to avoid doing that with braces. If you cut sandwiches or crunchy fruits and vegetables into bite-sized pieces, they can still be enjoyed with braces. Be sure to chew them with your back teeth. You can also cut the crust off a slice of pizza and just eat the toppings.

5. Healthy Drinks for Nutrition with Braces

Healthy smoothies and shakes are another way to get the proper nutrients when wearing braces. Grinding up fruits or veggies into a smoothie or a shake helps you get additional vitamins and minerals with something to drink. Water and milk are always your best choices with braces, but smoothies can make an excellent addition.

If you’re thinking about getting braces to help you achieve that perfect smile, contact us at Reddick Orthodontics in Melbourne to schedule an appointment!