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Thanksgiving Food & Your Braces

Thanksgiving Food & Your Braces
Posted on 10/24/2019
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Little girl biting into a whole turkey at the dinner table during ThanksgivingThanksgiving is a wonderful time of family bonding, unwinding, and, of course, indulging in an abundance of food. While people wearing braces can still take part in the fun and festivities that come with this beloved holiday, it's important that they be mindful of which foods are safe to consume and which put your changing smiles at risk.

If you are sporting braces this holiday season, check out this list of foods to avoid, ones that are safe to enjoy, and tips for keeping your smile healthy and beautiful before you pile your Thanksgiving plate high.

Foods to Avoid

While some foods are obvious threats to your dental work, such as popcorn, others can be deceiving. It's best to avoid all hard, sticky, or chewy foods, since they not only risk damaging your brackets and wires, but can cause decay if they get lodged in the crevices of your teeth.

These are the foods to stay away from:

Hard Foods

Any hard or crunchy food that you would normally bite with your front teeth should be avoided as they can damage your braces by loosening brackets or damaging wires. These include:

  • Nuts
  • Uncooked vegetables
  • Popcorn
  • Chips
  • Corn on the cob

Sticky Foods

Steer clear of sticky foods because they are notorious for getting trapped behind your brackets or in your teeth's crevices, making them difficult to remove. Besides being hard to clean, they are usually high in sugar and can cause harm to your braces themselves. These include:

  • Caramel
  • Toffee
  • Pies

Chewy Foods

While bread and fruit may seem like safe options to eat with braces, some aren't as safe as others. Doughy breads and chewy dried fruit can easily damage your brackets and wires. Not to mention, dried fruit contains a lot of sugar, which can lead to cavities and gum recession. These foods include:

  • Doughy breads
  • Dried fruit

Foods to Enjoy

It may seem like the list of Thanksgiving foods that you should stay away from is a mile long, but you'll be happy to learn that there are plenty of delicious options that are braces-friendly. Any food that is soft, easy to chew, or can be cut into bite-sized pieces and placed in the back of your mouth should be a safe option to consume with braces. Fortunately, most Thanksgiving staples fit into this category. These include:

  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Casseroles
  • Cooked Vegetables
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Deviled eggs

Practicing Good Oral Hygiene During the Holidays

Avoiding dangerous foods and eating safe ones during the holidays are excellent steps in maintaining good oral hygiene while improving your smile, but there is more work to be done to ensure that your teeth stay healthy and beautiful throughout the holiday season and beyond.

  • Brush and use your waterpik thoroughly twice a day.
  • Limit your sugar intake.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after consuming sweets.
  • Never bite into anything hard or excessively chewy with your front teeth.
  • Continue to see your dentist every 6 months to have your teeth properly cleaned.

Get In Touch With Dr. Charles Harrington

With these helpful tips, there is no reason why you can't leave the Thanksgiving table happy and full, while ensuring that your delicate smile stays safe.

To learn more about caring for your braces this holiday season, Dr. Charles Harrington is here to help. Serving Gaithersburg, Kentlands/Lakelands, North Potomac, and Rockville, our trusted orthodontics team makes getting the smile you've always hoped for convenient and comfortable, even during the holidays.

Contact us today for all of your orthodontic needs. You can also reach us by phone at (301) 977-1441 for questions or to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to helping you attain the smile of your dreams!

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