Thanksgiving is always a difficult time for people who are wearing braces because so much of the holiday’s celebration centers on food. Usually, being around all that food isn’t bad when you can eat whatever you want, but when you have braces there are a number of foods you can’t eat. Luckily for every food you can’t eat during Thanksgiving, there are a number of other tasty foods that you can eat.
Avoid damaging your braces this Thanksgiving by learning about which foods you should avoid and which ones are safe to eat.
Avoid: Nuts (Pecans, Almonds, Cashews, etc.)
Nuts are usually on the top of the ‘do not eat’ food list when you get braces. So, it should be second nature to avoid eating nuts out of a jar or a bag. Unfortunately, what people don’t realize is many side dishes and desserts include nuts as an ingredient.
Before trying a new side dish or dessert make sure to verify if it contains nuts. The last thing you want to do is start eating only to hit a random hard nut that ends up breaking a bracket off or twisting your wires.
Approved: Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, or Fish
Any type of main meat option is safe to eat when you have braces. These foods rarely contain hard or sharp pieces that could damage your braces. That means you are able to enjoy the traditional meal of turkey with gravy if you want!
If you do choose roast beef make sure it isn’t too tough to eat. Sometimes tough meat requires a lot of chewing which puts you at risk of damaging the brackets of your braces.
Another thing to consider is the bones in fish. The bones are usually removed, but sometimes one or two are left in the fish. When eating fish make sure you are aware that bones could be present and take precautions so your braces are not damaged.
Avoid: Sticky Desserts
Desserts that contain toffee, caramel or other sweet ingredients may be tempting, but there is a good chance they could damage your braces. The sticky foods tend to latch onto the wires and brackets of your braces. When this happens it can pull the brackets away from your teeth or cause the wire to poke your cheeks.
There are plenty of braces-friendly desserts that you can enjoy. Don’t risk damaging your braces just to enjoy one of this sticky and sweet treats.
Approved: Potatoes (Mashed, Baked, Scalloped, and Sweet Potatoes)
Potatoes are safe to eat because they are so soft. Just be careful with anything that you might add to the potatoes such as toppings like crunchy bacon or any ingredients that might be baked into the dishes. You don’t want to run into a random crunchy piece that suddenly breaks your braces.
Other Foods to Avoid
Some other foods to avoid during Thanksgiving include:
- Popcorn – any type from traditional popcorn to caramel corn and kettle corn
- Crunchy apples
- Corn on the cob
- Anything that appears overly crunchy, sticky, or hard
Other Examples of Safe Foods to Eat with Braces
Some examples of foods that are safe to eat with braces include:
- Corn – any type of corn just not one that is on the cob
- Casseroles – be careful of mixed in ingredients as they can sometimes be crunchy or hard
- Cooked green beans, cooked brocoli
Remember to Keep Your Braces and Teeth Clean This Thanksgiving
Don’t get caught up in all the excitement of the holidays and forget to brush, floss, and care for your teeth and braces. Make sure you are doing the following things:
- Brushing your teeth about 20 minutes after every meal
- Flossing after every meal and if you can’t floss after every meal at least floss once a day
- Make sure you properly clean all around your teeth and braces. Don’t quickly brush your teeth. Make sure you do a good job as you want to remove all food particles and plaque.
- Rinse your mouth with water if you are unable to quickly brush your teeth. This will help neutralize any sugars and acids in your mouth until you get time to properly brush.
Do you have a particular food or side dish that you want to eat this Thanksgiving but are unsure if it is okay to eat with braces? If so, let Valderrama Orthodontics help. Call our office and our staff will gladly help you determine if the foods you wish to enjoy will not break your braces.