For many of us, holiday food is what we most look forward to in the festive season. Feasts with all the trimmings, baked goods fresh from the oven, candy and chocolate galore! But if you have braces, not every seasonal treat is braces-friendly; eating with braces means being careful to eat braces-friendly food — in other words, indulging in festive foods that won’t damage your brackets and wires.
To help you figure out what you can and can’t have when it comes to holiday eating, Dr. VanderWall and your VanderWall Orthodontics team have compiled this list of 20 braces-friendly holiday foods you can eat, plus seven holiday foods to avoid with braces. Happy Eating!
Holiday Foods You Can Eat with Braces
The great news about eating with braces during the holidays? You can still enjoy many of your favorites from before you started wearing braces! You don’t have to stick to a diet of soft foods just for your braces. A lot of braces-friendly eating comes down to how you eat. For example, never bite directly into foods with your front teeth; instead, cut or break food into bite-sized pieces and chew with your back teeth.
Here is a list of popular holiday foods you can eat with braces without worry:
- Turkey, chicken and lamb (cut off the bone into bite-sized pieces)
- Tender roast beef, brisket or ham
- Salmon and other soft fish
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- Sweet potato casserole (minus the marshmallows and nuts)
- Roasted potatoes
- Steamed veggies
- Green bean casserole (without the almonds)
- Cranberry sauce
- Soft rolls
- Challah bread
- Macaroni and cheese
- Soft cheeses
- Cake and cupcakes
- Fruit and pumpkin pies (without nuts)
- Soft-baked cookies
- Plain chocolate (without nuts)
- Hot drinks like eggnog, hot chocolate and apple cider
Holiday Foods to Avoid with Braces
The foods you should definitely avoid with braces? Anything hard, crunchy, or sticky since these textures can damage your appliance. That’s why we mentioned not eating the marshmallows or nuts in the dishes above.
Our list of top foods to avoid with braces during the holiday season includes:
- Pecan pie
- Raw or other really hard veggies
- Caramel apples or candy apples
- Hard gingerbread and other crunchy cookies
- Hard candy, like candy canes
- Toffee, fudge, and any sticky or chewy treats
Of course, these lists of holiday foods you can eat with braces and foods to avoid don’t cover everything that pops up during the holidays; they’re just a start. Not sure about those unique, family dishes or traditional cultural recipes? Check them against our list of what not to eat with braces; again, you should avoid food or ingredients that are hard, crunchy, or sticky.
A Beautiful Smile On Your Holiday Wish List
Don’t have braces or clear aligners now but have been thinking about it to straighten your smile? Orthodontic treatment is your path to a beautiful, functional smile and a healthier you! We offer the ultimate in custom braces — LightForce braces, as well as modern metal, ceramic, and InBrace lingual braces. As for clear aligner treatment with VanderWall Orthodontics, Invisalign and 3M™ Clarity™ Aligners will bring out your best smile, too.
Contact us for a complimentary consultation at our Raleigh, Cary, or Durham office and start your holidays with a gift to yourself. Dr. VanderWall is your Triangle-area orthodontist for a smile transformation that’s uniquely you.