Surviving Thanksgiving With Braces

Photo of a Thanksgiving dinner plate with beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and turkey.

Holiday Tips from Chapel Hill's Pediatric Orthodontists

As the holidays approach, our patients throughout Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas will partake in delicious meals with their families and friends. Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and great food, but how do patients with braces navigate the endless supply of tasty treats while keeping their orthodontic treatment safe and maintaining their dental health? Drs. Clifton and Mauney, your local pediatric orthodontists, recommend the following tips for enjoying Thanksgiving with braces.

Foods To Avoid at Thanksgiving

Remember, having braces means you need to avoid hard, sticky, and tough foods – Thanksgiving is no exception! Stay away from foods like turkey legs and other bone-in meats, salads with crunchy nuts or croutons, raw, hard vegetables like carrots or celery, chips and crackers, pecan pie, and casseroles with crunchy toppings or fillings. Stuffing is okay – just make sure there are no nuts inside that could snap your metal brace brackets!

Thanksgiving Foods To Eat With Braces

Thankfully, most of the foods you’ll be choosing from this Thanksgiving are perfectly safe to eat with braces!For those yummy pre-dinner appetizers, you can eat soft meats like salami slices, cheese chunks, and dips with bread slices. Just be sure to avoid the nuts, chips, and crunchy crackers. For dinner, enjoy turkey or ham as long as they are not eaten off the bone, and are sliced into small pieces. Stuffing, salads and cooked vegetables, including casseroles, are all safe as long as they are free of nuts and other hard or crunchy ingredients. And of course, pumpkin pie is the perfect dessert to eat with braces, as are other fruit, custard and cream pies.

Prepare A Dental Kit

It’s very important to maintain your dental health by flossing and brushing, especially after a day full of eating! A great way to keep your mouth healthy during those delicious holiday meals is to prepare a simple kit that includes a flosser, a proxabrush, and whatever else you need to remove leftover food particles from your teeth and gums. You can keep this kit discreetly hidden in your bag and excuse yourself to use it after the meal.

Celebrate Thanksgiving!

Having braces doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. As we’ve shown, most holiday foods are perfect to eat with braces, because many of them are soft. Enjoy the day and don’t get too caught up in avoiding foods while you celebrate with your family and friends.

Contact Your Local Chapel Hill Pediatric Dentist & Orthodontist!

If you have any questions related to braces, what foods to eat, or any of the services we provide here at Clifton & Mauney Orthodontics, we encourage you to give us a call at 919-933-1007, or reach out to us at our contact page. You can also schedule an appointment using our handy online form. We can’t wait to hear from you and to help you develop your most beautiful smile. Happy Thanksgiving from your local Chapel Hill Pediatric Dentist & Orthodontist! We hope you have a great holiday!