Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the first day of Winter is just around the corner! We are in the thick of the holiday season, and that typically means eating larger meals, accompanied by endless snacking. No matter which holiday you celebrate, we all have certain treats and snacks we associate with this time of year. But orthodontic patients need to remember to adhere to the list of what they can and can’t eat, paying particular attention to those items in the “NO” zone to ensure they don’t create an unnecessary orthodontic emergency.
We get it; holiday treats are delicious. They are the best. They are super hard to avoid! And while all our patients know we are always here for them, we know you’d rather be enjoying holiday parties and sing-a-longs instead of coming in for an impromptu visit. So here is a friendly reminder that for patients with standard braces, hard and sticky foods can pull and tug on the brackets and wires, damaging them, and even injuring the mouth. Ouch!
Try to avoid the following:
• Candy canes – Even the folks without braces know that there’s no graceful way to bite into these offenders. Use these for decorations, and save your braces.
• Nuts and snack mixes containing nuts, pretzels, or popcorn – These rascals can not only pull on your wires, but they can also wedge between your teeth and make flossing a nightmare.
• Peanut brittle, pecan pie, and other sticky desserts – We preach moderation when it comes to sugar, but super sticky and hard desserts such as peanut brittle should be avoided altogether if you wear braces. Pecan pie is sticky, and has hard nuts that can damage the wires and brackets of your braces. Just say NO!
• Vegetable platters – Veggie platters are always around, and they are certainly a great alternative to all of their sugary neighbors on the table. However, keep in mind that hard, raw vegetables can damage your braces. If you’re going to indulge, be sure to cut into small, bite-sized pieces.
Use your best judgment when searching for a braces-friendly holiday treat. Anything that is too hard, sticky, or a mess in general, can cause damage to your braces, and even your mouth.
But don’t worry! There are plenty of great holiday foods you can safely enjoy in braces.
• Break out the turkey and the ham! They can be safely eaten while wearing braces, but we do suggest avoiding a turkey leg!
• Cooked vegetables, such as mashed potatoes, are also a safe bet. And for dessert, you don’t have to avoid pumpkin pie! You can also indulge in custards and other pudding-based desserts and pies.
This holiday season, don’t undo all of your hard work and progress you’ve achieved by indulging in foods that can harm your braces. If you have any questions, give our office a call and we will be happy to provide a list of foods you should avoid.
As always, if you experience any damage to your braces, call our office immediately to determine if a visit is necessary. If a wire comes loose, simply place some Braces wax on the end of the wire to avoid it poking the inside of your mouth until you can get to our office.
We wish all of our wonderful patients the utmost joy and peace with their families and friends, and opportunities to make memories that last for years to come!
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.