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Tips for Eating Holiday Meals with Braces

November 17, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — ortegaortho @ 4:27 pm

Smiling woman with metal bracesIf this is your first year wearing braces during the holidays, you know that there are a few things you can’t eat. Although you know to avoid popcorn, gum, and chips, your dentist will recommend skipping a few others as well. You don’t want an orthodontic emergency to interrupt your plans. You won’t have to worry about skipping your seasonal favorites to protect your braces. Here are 6 tips to help you navigate the holidays without adding delays to your treatment plan.

1. Choose Soft Foods

You’ll be surrounded by many delicious foods that will make your mouth water. However, it’s best to be picky about what you eat. Look for soft foods that are easy to chew to prevent breaking a bracket or wire. Cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, yams, and stuffing are excellent braces-friendly options.

2. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

The holidays wouldn’t be the same without ham, turkey, and other mouthwatering meats. Unfortunately, chewy meats can get caught between your teeth and damage your braces. It’s better to cut food into small pieces to make them easier to chew. You can also use a little gravy to soften your food. 

3. Avoid Sticky Candy

You’re not supposed to eat sticky candy with braces, but resisting your sweet tooth can be difficult. If you need a sweet treat, choose chocolate, pudding, or ice cream. Avoid anything that may get stuck on your wires or brackets.

4. Skip Sugary Foods and Drinks

You don’t want your dentist to find tooth decay during your next dental cleaning or checkup. Although cookies, eggnog, and candy canes are staples of the season, they feed cavity-causing bacteria. It is better to skip sugary foods and drinks to keep your pearly whites healthy.

5. Stay Hydrated 

Healthcare professionals recommend drinking eight 8-oz glasses of water daily to stay hydrated. Hydration is essential for a moist mouth. If your mouth is too dry, it can cause oral bacteria growth to rise. Staying hydrated will keep your mouth moist. Every time you drink a glass of water, you’ll also give your mouth a rinse to remove food residue.  

6. Commit to Your Oral Hygiene

If you’re snacking more often, it’s time to improve your oral hygiene. Brush after every meal, instead of just twice a day. Don’t forget to floss daily. You can make it easy to brush and floss while you’re on the go with a travel oral hygiene kit.

While there are a few things you should avoid, you can still enjoy many popular holiday foods without compromising your orthodontic treatment. By this time next year, you’ll have a straight, beautiful smile.

About Dr. William “Vaughn” Holland

Dr. Holland is a 4th generation dentist who specializes in orthodontics. He achieved his dental degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry and has completed a five-year dual specialty program in prosthodontics and orthodontics. He is an award-winning orthodontist and a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association of Orthodontists. Request an appointment through his website or call (904) 513-1926.

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