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Everyone loves Thanksgiving because of the mountains of delicious food that is sure to be shared between family and friends for days on end, but for people with braces, it can be a complicated holiday. Knowing which foods are safe to indulge in and which ones could be dangerous to your orthodontic work will make all the difference in helping you get the most out of your holiday season, while keeping you on track with maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile during and after braces.

Check out this list of foods to avoid, are safe to consume, and the best ways to care for your orthodontic work this Thanksgiving.

Harmful Foods

Any food that is excessively hard, crunchy, sticky, or sugary can be harmful to your braces and oral health. These in particular should be avoided:

Hard, Crunchy Foods

Foods that are crunchy or hard, especially those that you have to bite with your front teeth, are never a good idea to munch on with braces. Save these foods for after your braces are removed.

  • Popcorn
  • Raw vegetables (such as carrots)
  • Corn on the cob
  • Chips
  • Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews

Sticky, Sugary Foods

Foods that are high in sugar or are very sticky threaten not only the well-being of your brackets and wires, but also the health of your teeth and gums. They can easily get trapped behind your orthodontic work, are hard to clean, and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

  • Dried fruit
  • Caramel
  • Pies

Braces-friendly Foods

The list of foods that you have to be wary of may seem overwhelming, but luckily there are plenty of braces-friendly Thanksgiving delicacies that you can still enjoy. Foods that you can chew easily, are soft, or that you can place in the back of your mouth (not with your front teeth or off the bone) are always your safest option. Stick with these foods this holiday season to ensure that your teeth stay healthy and your braces stay strong.

  • Casseroles (without crunchy toppings)
  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Deviled eggs
  • Gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft vegetables
  • Dressing
  • Cranberry sauce

Caring for Your

Smile This Thanksgiving

Whatever you choose to dine on, be sure that you take small bites and place food in the back of your mouth to protect your brackets and wires. After eating sweets, it's a good idea to drink water to rinse excess sugar away from your teeth. Most importantly, be sure to maintain good oral hygiene practices during the holiday season, including: brushing and flossing carefully everyday and continuing to visit your dentist to have your teeth examined and thoroughly cleaned twice a year.

Neglecting to care for your braces and teeth properly over the holidays can lead to serious setbacks in your long-term goal of having a beautiful, healthy smile, so try to be consistent in practicing good oral hygiene habits.

San Antonio Orthodontics is

Here to Help

The San Antonio Orthodontics team is here to help you protect your smile every step of the way this holiday season. Our trusted professionals offer the most progressive techniques in helping you get the smile of your dreams, while always offering quality, compassionate care.

To learn more about caring for your braces during Thanksgiving or to schedule your next appointment in San Antonio or Pleasanton, TX, contact us online or by phone at (210)-970-7638. We can't wait to see you smile!