The holiday season is upon us! The team here at Aura Orthodontics is ready to celebrate and we hope you are too. However, we know our Surrey, Abbotsford and Langley braces patients sometimes wonder what they can and cannot eat with braces during the festivities. We’ve got you covered with our guide to what to eat with braces this holiday season. The good news is, you can still enjoy most of your favorite holiday treats with a few exceptions. We’ll be breaking it down so you can feel confident eating with braces during the holidays.
A Refresher on Eating With Braces
Before we get into braces-friendly holiday food, let’s get back to the basics on the foods you can eat with braces and those to avoid. When you first get your braces on, and following adjustments, your teeth can feel a bit sensitive. While there are no food restrictions with Invisalign, your teeth and gums can also be similarly tender when you begin treatment or when you put in a new set of aligners. In either case, sticking with soft foods and cold foods and drinks will be super helpful until you feel ready to tackle your usual diet once again. Smoothies, mashed potatoes, ice water, soup, yogurt, applesauce, popsicles, protein shakes, pasta, ripe bananas, and milkshakes are all great ideas.
So what can you not eat with braces? Well, you’ll want to stay away from really sticky, hard or chewy foods, such as taffy, caramel, toffee, nuts, hard bagels, pizza crust and rolls, hard candy, Doritos, hard taco shells, gum and popcorn. These can damage your appliance or get caught between the brackets and cause inflammation. Additionally, when it comes to eating and braces, don’t bite directly into foods like corn on the cob, meat on the bone or whole, raw apples or carrots. Instead, strip corn off the cob, take meat off the bone and cut up raw fruits and veggies into small, thin, bite-sized pieces. You should make everything as simple to eat as possible by cutting or breaking it up and chewing with your back teeth.
When you have braces, food can get trapped in brackets and wires, so you’ll need to pay a little extra attention to your oral hygiene to avoid tooth decay. Brush your teeth using a non-whitening, fluoride toothpaste in the morning, after meals and snacks, and before bed. Also be sure to floss once daily using a floss threader or an orthodontic flosser. Many of the best holiday foods contain sugar and starches. While we’d never tell you to forgo your favorite treats, remember, the bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and starch and when they do, plaque forms and acids are released that eat away at the tooth enamel. This process can eventually lead to cavities. If you’ll be out and about celebrating the holidays, bring a travel toothbrush with you and brush your teeth after indulging. If you forget to bring it, rinse your mouth out really well and then brush as soon as you get home.
Holiday Foods to Avoid With Braces
You won’t have to make a ton of sacrifices during the holidays and the ones you do have to make will be well worth it when you see your fantastic new smile. Here are some of the holiday foods to avoid with braces:
- Candy canes
- Hard gingerbread cookies (here’s an excellent recipe for braces-friendly, soft gingerbread cookies you can enjoy instead!)
- Peanut brittle
- Caramel apples
- Brownies, pies or butter tarts with nuts
- Nuts in general
- Hard rolls
- Meat on the bone
- Raw veggies on a snack tray
What to Eat With Braces During the Holidays
Now on to the good stuff; here’s what to eat with braces during the holidays:
- Mashed potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Cooked carrots
- Other soft-cooked or steamed veggies
- Cranberries and cranberry sauce
- Stuffing (as long as it doesn’t contain nuts)
- Turkey (tender and off the bone)
- Salmon or other fish
- Cake and brownies without nuts
- Soft-baked cookies
- Soft cheeses
- Apple cider
Just remember, no matter what you’re eating, cut or break it into small pieces and chew with your back teeth like we mentioned before. This will keep your braces safe and be easier on your teeth.
Now that you know what to eat with braces this holiday season, are you ready to get started on a healthy, confident smile to close out your 2019? Book a complimentary consultation with a Surrey, Abbotsford or Langley orthodontist today at Aura Orthodontics!