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The holiday season is right around the corner and at Okuda & Noorda Orthodontics, we’re already excited about all of our favorite holiday food to eat with braces. Most of us look forward to indulging in gingerbread cookies, candy canes, and eggnog at this time of year — but what if you have braces? What foods are safe for braces during the holidays and what treats should you avoid until next year?

As your Henderson orthodontists, we’re happy to share that there are tons of braces-friendly holiday foods, but there are also a few things you’ll need to skip until your hardware comes off. As we get closer to the most wonderful time of the year, here’s a guide to what food can you eat with braces during the holiday season.

Holiday Foods to Avoid with Braces

Let’s get the not-so-fun part out of the way, shall we? If you have braces, you already know you need to avoid certain foods, including anything hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy, or foods you have to bite into. That’s because these types of foods risk damaging your brackets and wires, which could set your treatment time back. Your braces also make it super easy for bacteria and plaque to hide (and more difficult to brush and floss effectively), so it’s important to avoid anything that can get stuck in your teeth.

So what should you stay away from? Things like taffy, caramel, toffee, nuts, hard breads like bagels and pizza crust, hard candies, crunchy taco shells, chewing gum and popcorn are all off limits. These crunchy and chewy items could break or pull your brackets off, or get caught between the brackets and cause inflammation. You’ll also want to avoid biting into foods like corn on the cob, whole apples or carrots, or meat on the bone. Just cut the corn off the cob, take meat off the bone, and cut your food into bite-sized pieces and you’ll be good to go.

All of these same rules apply to holiday classics, which means you’ll need to steer clear of a few key things. Here’s a list of which holiday foods to skip this year:

  • Hard candies like candy canes
  • Hard or crunchy gingerbread cookies
  • Peanut brittle
  • Caramel apples
  • Anything with nuts (including butter tarts, pies or cookies)
  • Hard dinner rolls
  • Meat on the bone
  • Raw veggies (like on a veggie platter)

Braces-Friendly Holiday Foods

Now that you know what foods to avoid with braces, let’s talk about all the yummy holiday treats you’re free to enjoy! When you first get your braces put on (and after each time you have them tightened), your teeth will likely be a little sensitive for a few days. So whether you’re new to braces this holiday season or just had an adjustment, you’ll want to stick to soft foods, cold foods and liquids, at least until your teeth get used to your hardware. This includes things like yogurt, applesauce, soups, smoothies, steamed veggies, tender meats, and so much more.

So what does that mean for your holiday meals? You likely won’t even notice the things you can’t eat because there’s so much more that you can enjoy with braces. Here’s what to eat during the holidays with braces:

  • Turkey, of course!
  • Ham
  • Salmon (or any other fish)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Candied yams
  • Casseroles
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cooked carrots and other soft-cooked or steamed vegetables
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Stuffing (as long as there aren’t any crunchy nuts hiding in there)
  • Pie (again, no nuts)
  • Soft cookies
  • Cake and brownies with no nuts
  • Soft cheeses
  • Cheesecake
  • Apple cider
  • Hot chocolate
  • Eggnog
  • Chocolate

As you can see, the list of what you can eat with braces during the holidays is significantly longer than the list of what to avoid! So if you’re starting braces treatment this holiday season or are already well on your way to your new smile, rest assured that you’ll be able to enjoy a holiday feast just like everyone else.

Still have questions about which holiday food to eat with braces that is safe? Ready to learn more about how we can help you achieve the smile of your dreams? Contact Okuda & Noorda Orthodontics to book a complimentary consultation today.

Dr. Okuda

Author Dr. Okuda

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