First Holiday Season With Braces? 3 Tips For Enjoying Meals And Treats While Warding Off Emergency Orthodontic Visits

If you are approaching your first holiday season wearing braces, then you may worry that you will end up in orthodontist's office for frequent repairs after breaking wires or brackets eating holiday foods. The good news is that if you create a plan now, you can know what foods to skip and which to eat carefully. Thankfully, there are also many you can eat that are completely safe for you and your braces. Here are three tips for surviving your first holiday season with braces. 

1. Know the Few Types of Foods to Avoid Completely

Thankfully, most holiday foods can still be enjoyed while wearing braces, but there are just a few it is best to skip to stay on the safe side. Most make the list simply because they are super-hard or super-chewy, and taking a bite can easily dislodge a wire or break a bracket off a tooth. 

These foods include toffee candy, peanut brittle, hard breadsticks (soft ones are fine), and hard candies (including candy canes) that you know you cannot resist trying to take a bite of. Super-sticky caramel candies should also be avoided, but flowing caramel, like caramel sauce drizzled on a sundae is okay. Unfortunately, this means holiday caramel apples and caramel-covered popcorn should be avoided. Hard nuts are also off-limits. 

2. Remember to Use Special Tactics when Eating These Foods

There are many foods you can enjoy when you take special care to eat them correctly. Corn should be cut off the cob before eating it at holiday dinners, and candy-covered apples can be enjoyed if they are covered with chocolate or another non-sticky coating and cut into small pieces before eating. 

Make it a rule to inspect every holiday casserole or other new dish served to you for hidden off-limits bits and remove them before enjoying the rest. Check that sweet potato casserole for pecans or other nuts before enjoying, and ask if that green bean casserole contains almonds. If the chef is a family member or another person close to you, ask them to add nuts last, so you can remove a portion for yourself before they are added, or even serve them on the side. Don't worry that you will seem rude, because many people today have food intolerances and other reasons for needing special care taken with their dishes, and keeping your braces in good shape is just as important. 

Fruitcakes are often filled with chewy candies and nuts, so ask what is inside before eating a slice. 

3. Request These Super-safe Dishes or Bring Them to Holiday Gatherings

While it may seem like there are many dishes you have to skip, there are also many you can indulge in without any worries. If you are afraid you may attend a gathering and have nothing to eat, then offer to bring one of the super-safe holiday foods you can eat. You may hear that the dish is already being served and you will then know that you will have plenty of foods to enjoy. 

Braces-safe entrees include any meats off-the-bone, especially when moistened with gravy. Safe side dishes include mashed potatoes, soft-cooked vegetables without nuts, soft breads, cranberry sauce, and any other soft food item without hard bits inside. 

While you should avoid that pecan pie, pumpkin pie is a safe option, as well as lemon-meringue and any type of pie with a cream or pudding filling. Cookies can also be enjoyed as long as they are not too hard and don't contain nuts. 

If it is your first holiday season wearing braces, then know what to avoid and what to eat carefully to avoid braces mishaps that can end up with you needing emergency braces repairs. However, you can still enjoy many foods served this holiday season, so you don't have to worry about having nothing to eat at holiday gatherings. You might consider contacting an orthodontist like Cazes Family Dentistry LLC for more tips on things to avoid this holiday season.