There Is No "One Key" To Great Dental Health

The Naughty And Nice Food List For People With Braces

With the holidays comes holiday parties and holiday food. If this is your first holiday season with metal braces from places like Cazes Family Dentistry LLC, you may be a little nervous and uncertain about what is "safe" to eat. Read more to learn what foods are on your orthodontist's "Naughty And Nice" list.

Foods On The "Naughty" List

If you wear braces, stay away from the hard or sticky stuff. Sadly, that may include gingerbread men, because those crunchy cookies can be particularly stiff and brittle and easily cause you to pop a bracket or bend a wire.

Other holiday foods that you need to forgo include:

  • nuts, such as all the almonds, pecans, and peanuts that are hiding in dozens of treats around the holidays, including peanut brittle, pecan pie, brownies and snack mixes. Nuts can get up under the braces, and you can bend or break wires trying to chew them. They also get stuck under your braces easily and can be difficult to get back out.
  • sticky foods such as caramel popcorn, and hard or chewy toffee (which can actually pull brackets right off your teeth).
  • candy canes. They may be Christmas icons, but they're actually composed of sugar and vinegar. The acid in the vinegar actually attacks the minerals in your tooth enamel and can be very hard to brush away when you have braces.
  • vegetable platters. Those carrots and celery sticks can break wires and even injure your mouth if they pull too hard on the orthodontic equipment on your teeth.
  • hard breads and cookies. Most people don't realize that the hard crusts of some breads, bagels, and even certain cookies can be particularly damaging to braces, even moving them subtly off place and causing you mouth sores.

There Are Plenty Of Foods On The "Nice" List

Don't be distressed about the holiday foods that you can't indulge in, because there are plenty of holiday treats that you can enjoy, including all of the hot chocolate that you can drink.

Other foods that you can add to your plate include:

  • cake, brownies, and soft cookies. Cake, brownies, and soft cookies won't damage your braces or hurt your mouth.
  • cream pies, like pumpkin and chocolate, are excellent holiday treats.
  • fudge. Aside from candy canes, fudge is probably one of the most classic holiday confections and you can have it (again, as long as it doesn't have nuts).
  • peanut butter cups and chocolate kisses will melt in your mouth, and are easily eaten with braces. If you use a soft sugar cookie recipe, you can use mini peanut butter cups and chocolate kisses as the center pieces.
  • ham and turkey slices and cheese cubes are safe and part of virtually every holiday buffet.
  • soft dinner rolls, and donuts are safe for your teeth and won't cause your braces any damage.
  • cooked vegetables including sweet potatoes, and cooked apples.

And Remember The Basics

It might be inconvenient, but you need to be especially vigilant about keeping your teeth brushed after you eat. While you can indulge in the sweet treats of the season, you don't want to allow any of the delicious stuff to stay trapped in or under your braces, where tooth decay can start.

If you ignore the list, you'll probably end up with a popped bracket or a bent wire, and possibly sore spots in your mouth where the braces have rubbed. Worse, you're going to end up at the orthodontist's office for an emergency appointment during the middle of the holidays. However, the holiday season is meant to be enjoyed and you don't have to walk around with an empty plate while everyone else loads theirs up with goodies, as long as you remember what's safe for your braces.