Dietary Essentials For Children Undergoing Underbite Treatment

by | Jun 13, 2024

Orthodontic care seeks to improve oral health and appearance by correcting misaligned teeth and jaws and issues like underbite and overbite. While orthodontic devices like braces and aligners play a pivotal role, the importance of dietary habits cannot be overlooked.

The Role of Diet for Children Undergoing an Orthodontic Treatment

eating with braces

Orthodontic treatment works on realigning the jaw and teeth. Pressure will constantly be applied to your child’s teeth during treatment, so it’s vital to make dietary changes that can affect their oral health.

Some orthodontists believe making dietary changes can affect the efficacy of your child’s orthodontic treatment and may even help them get better results.

Dietary Essentials for Children Undergoing Orthodontic Treatment for Underbite

There are several things to take care of when your child is undergoing an orthodontic treatment for optimal results. Making them get braces is just one part of it. Food is the second major part of your child’s successful orthodontic treatment for underbite. Here is a list of dietary essentials for your children undergoing orthodontic treatment for underbite:

1. Avoid Harmful Food

By harmful food here, we mean food that is highly likely to damage your child’s orthodontic equipment, such as braces. For example, sticky or chewy food may cling to orthodontic equipment, damaging it, causing pain to the patient, and eventually delaying their teeth-straightening procedure.

Here is a list of harmful foods to avoid giving your child during orthodontic treatment for underbite:

●  Sticky food and candies: Whether it’s sticky candy, sweets, or chewing gum, avoid giving your child these during orthodontic treatment, as they might get stuck between their braces. Once these chewy/sticky candies and sweets stick between the arch wires of their braces, they may become difficult to remove, maximizing the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and plaque build-up.

●  Hard snacks: Hard and crunchy snacks like nuts, hard candies, or popcorn kernels may cause the brackets to break, wires to bend, and even the equipment to loosen. This damage to the braces will cost you another orthodontist visit for replacement.

●  Sugary beverages: Sugary and acidic beverages like energy drinks break down and cause erosion in the tooth enamel and sometimes even tooth decay. Since your child will not be able to clean their teeth properly with their braces during the entire orthodontic treatment, it’s wise to make them stay away from sugary and acidic drinks to prevent causing harm.

●  Chewy food: Chewy food can pose a risk for children undergoing orthodontic treatment because it can potentially damage the orthodontic appliances as they are delicately positioned in the mouth. They require a significant amount of force to break down, and this force can exert pressure on the braces, causing them to bend, break, or become dislodged.

●  Crunchy treats: Crunchy foods like hard nuts, raw vegetables, and hard candies can exert excessive pressure on braces, potentially damaging them or causing them to become dislodged. This can disrupt the progress of the orthodontic treatment and prolong the duration of wearing braces.

 2. Consider This To Eat Instead

While avoiding the above list of foods during orthodontic treatment is non-negotiable for your child, maintaining oral and general health is also essential during the entire treatment. Giving them a balanced diet is extremely important, as nutrients such as vitamins and minerals encourage hygiene and support the treatment and your child’s overall growth and development.

Here is a list of food to consider:

●  Soft food: Consider giving them soft food that is also rich in nutrients. This includes tofu, yogurt, soft fruits, milk, cheese, cooked vegetables, and fish. These nutrient-rich foods can provide your child with the necessary protein, minerals, vitamins, and calcium for strong bones and teeth.

●  Water: It’s crucial to stay hydrated at all times, especially during orthodontic treatment, as hydration preserves salivary flow. This helps lower the risk of gum disease or cavities, as bacteria and food particles are washed away.

●  Low-sugar snacks: Sugary snacks are harmful because they break down and are often not properly removed when your child has braces. Replacing them with snacks that are low in sugar can help maintain their oral health

Preserving Your Child’s Oral Health

While it’s crucial to maintain your child’s oral health in normal circumstances, it’s also vital to be extra cautious about their oral health during orthodontic treatment. An orthodontist will stress the food to avoid and provide during the course, as it’s essential for the advancement of their orthodontic procedure. Ensure you follow the doctor’s advice to help your child get pain-free orthodontic treatment.

Author Bio: Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been amystery to Emily and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!

Hi! I'm Alex Turnbull. I'm a registered dietitian specializing in introducing solids and picky eating. Most importantly, I'm a mom of two so I get how stressful feeding kids can be.

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