Caring for Your Teeth in Braces During the Holiday Season

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During this holiday season, if you’re wearing braces, it’s important to keep your smile healthy and protect your orthodontic treatment. While winter holidays are joyous, it’s crucial to be mindful of your braces and make some adjustments. For instance, you can indulge in hot chocolate or brandy eggnog by using a straw to minimize contact with your teeth and braces.

Holiday Foods to Avoid with Braces

  • Gingerbread Cookies: If making gingerbread ornaments or houses is a beloved tradition for your family, remember that this festive treat can become too hard to safely eat. So, feel free to enjoy them as decorations, but avoid biting into them this year!
  • Candy Canes: Who doesn’t enjoy the refreshing coolness of peppermint during the winter holidays? You can hang them on your tree and tuck them into stockings, but remember not to eat them if you have braces. Instead, indulge in this holiday flavor with soft peppermint patties and minty hot chocolate.
  • Sticky or Crunchy Treats:
  • This year, steer clear of nutty or caramel treats in any form, such as pecan pie, peanut brittle, candies, or caramel apples. Also, be mindful of toffee or peppermint bark, as they are hard and sticky, so it’s best to avoid them too.
  • Nuts: Even if you have a classic nutcracker on hand, it’s best to skip enjoying roasted chestnuts this year, along with walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts (filberts), and Brazil nuts. You might prefer nutty chocolate spreads like Nutella or nut butter instead.

We want to assure you that, unlike the Grinch, we offer winter treats that are braces-friendly, ensuring you can enjoy them without any concerns.

Braces-Friendly Holiday Foods

  • Hot Chocolate: Enjoy hot cocoa with peppermint or gingerbread flavors and top it with melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows or whipped cream while wearing braces to protect your smile.
  • Soft Baked Treats: Indulge in soft holiday cookies shaped for every holiday, from brownies to cupcakes and cakes! Decorate them with lots of frosting and colorful sprinkles. Remember to clean your teeth well after enjoying these treats.
  • Festive Fruit: Oranges make great gifts for stockings, recalling ancient customs. Enjoy festive fruit trays featuring sliced melons, strawberries, pineapples, bananas, and kiwis that will bring a smile to your face!

Clean Your Braces and Teeth

After enjoying holiday treats, make sure to brush and floss diligently. This routine helps clear away food bits and debris from your teeth, as well as from wires and braces. It might be tempting to skip oral care during the busy winter break activities, but that’s not advisable because neglecting it can harm your teeth. Take a few moments throughout the day to clean your teeth after indulging in sweets!

Flossing becomes simpler when using a floss threader to reach between brackets and under the wires of braces. If you don’t have one yet, a Waterpik is effective for removing food particles stuck behind wires, between teeth, and around brackets. It’s also a gift you can treat yourself to, offering ongoing benefits throughout the year!

Get Yourself a Travel Kit

If you’re lucky enough to travel for the holidays, make sure to keep your beautiful smile in ideal form. Get a handy travel-sized braces kit with a toothbrush, dental floss, mouthwash, orthodontic wax, and a compressed mirror to use after eating, along with extra elastics if needed.

Wear a Mouthguard

If your family enjoys winter sports and indoor and outdoor holiday activities, such as rock climbing indoors, ice skating at a rink, and snowboarding, skiing, or sledding. Do you also love ice hockey? To keep your teeth and orthodontics safe during these activities, wearing a mouthguard is essential.

The Gift of Straight Teeth

Start this holiday season by treating yourself to the gift of straightened teeth and an aligned bite. Remember to safeguard your investment as you progress through your time with braces. Soon enough, your orthodontic treatment will conclude, allowing you to fully enjoy all your favorite activities once again. Rest assured, we’re here to support you in maintaining healthy teeth and gums throughout the process of orthodontic treatment!