Autumn is in full swing, and that means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. With families coming together to indulge in a seasonal feast, those currently in the midst of orthodontic treatment may be wondering how to eat their favorite foods without risking damage to their dental appliances. It is not uncommon for new orthodontic patients to have a bit of trepidation at this time of the year, especially since Halloween treats may have posed some unfamiliar challenges. Fear not, however, because the good news is that by and large, Thanksgiving foods tend to be quite safe for everyone, including those wearing braces.
A wise guiding principle is to eschew foods that are particularly crunchy, sticky, or hard, as these are known to pose real hazards to the integrity of brackets as well as wires, and nobody wants an orthodontic issue to arise in the middle of Thanksgiving celebrations.
Snacks and Appetizers
An array of starters and snacks is usually on offer as families begin to gather for the larger holiday feast, and though some of these foods may not be suited for those with braces, there are usually several options that work just fine for orthodontic patients. Cheese and meat platters tend to be safe choices, as do soft dips enjoyed with breads. Meatballs can be ideal as well, but it is best to avoid raw vegetable trays, nuts, and popcorn, as these have the potential to harm brackets, wires, and other appliances.
The Main Event
Those underdoing orthodontic treatment will be relieved to know that the majority of Thanksgiving dinner favorites are entirely safe for braces, and there is no need for anyone to deprive themselves of this fun annual experience.
Meats such as turkey and ham are fine for those with braces, as long as they are off the bone and free of stringy portions that could become tangled in between teeth. Soft stuffing is also great, as long as it does not contain crunchy nuts or other elements that could pose risks to brackets and wires.
Mashed potatoes, yams, and other cooked vegetables should present no difficulty at all for those with orthodontic appliances, so dig in! The same is true of beloved seasonal casseroles, provided they do not contain sticky elements or crunchy toppings. Nut-free breads are perfectly fine as well, so enjoy those yeast rolls with abandon!
When it comes time to choose from the panoply of holiday desserts likely available at any Thanksgiving celebration, some caution is advisable. Though everyone certainly loves this part of the meal, sweet treats can pose interesting challenges to those with orthodontic concerns.
The good news is that the majority of cakes, cookies, and pies served during the holidays will be safe for braces, as long as they do not contain caramel toppings, crunchy nuts, or harder dried fruits. Braces wearers can never go wrong with a nice pudding, mousse or gelatin-based option. The key is really just to watch out for especially sticky confections, crunchy bark candies, and similarly risky items.
Regardless of how you decide to feast this year, remember to keep up with your flossing and brushing regimen. That way, you will make the most of the season while also preventing tooth decay and other concerns that can mar an otherwise festive time of year.