Navigating the Holiday Season While in Braces

healthy smile

Tuckahoe, NY – It’s hard to believe, but November is already here, and holiday season is upon us. While others may be searching for the perfect turkey recipe or pulling out their sweaters and boots, if you wear braces you may be wondering how you can enjoy the treats of the season.

Wearing braces means you must pay a bit more attention to your diet than you normally might. Snacks that others can eat may damage the brackets and wires of your brackets. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy holiday treats – it simply means you must be more mindful when making choices.

Green light:

Just because there are certain treats to avoid doesn’t mean you have to turn down every holiday treat. There is still plenty you can enjoy!  You can still eat turkey, ham and other delicious meals, just be sure to cut them into smaller pieces and don’t take too large of bites.  Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and mac and cheese are all great foods that are gentle on your braces.  For dessert, you can still enjoy your favorite ice creams, soft cookies, brownies, pumpkin pie and other soft pies (be careful of nuts and hard pie crust!). Treats such as cake pops, cupcakes puddings, and Jell-O can be enjoyed, as well.

Red light:

Holiday popcorn tins are probably starting to appear in stores near you. While these are a popular sight during the holiday seasons, popcorn is definitely on the no list for braces wearers. The popcorn kernels can dislodge the brackets or bend the wires of your braces, and popcorn is also difficult to clean from the braces. Likewise, sticky and chewy foods such as caramels and taffies should be avoided. Also just say no to hard foods such as mixed nuts, candy canes and peanut brittle. Parties will likely have fruit and vegetable platters, so be sure to avoid any that are too crunchy and could possibly damage your brackets and wires.  Also be sure to cut any meats into smaller pieces, and be careful not to bite into any meats that are still on the bone. 

Safeguard your smile

We want our patients to enjoy the holiday season, but we also encourage everyone to be mindful of the health of their smiles. In addition to eating a healthy diet, we recommend:

  • Careful brushing and flossing. Braces wearers know that they must brush more often than their friends to ensure their mouths are as clean as possible, and it’s important to floss carefully. Floss at least once per day, and brush after every meal and snack, and before bedtime.
  • Don’t forget to visit your orthodontist and dentist. You may be on vacation, but we still hope you factor your orthodontic appointments in to your holiday planning. In order to ensure your treatment stays on track and is successful, you need to maintain all scheduled appointments. And to ensure your mouth is healthy enough for treatment, don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly, too.
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Opt for water as often as you can and avoid drinks like sodas that are not only full of sugar, but acid as well.

Your braces don’t have to get in the way this holiday season. All it takes is a bit of mindfulness and you can enjoy the holiday season as much as your friends and family members who don’t wear braces. If you have questions about things to avoid or if you happen to damage your braces at any time, call Tuckahoe Family Orthodontics at 914-654-1859.

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