Thanksgiving ranks as one of our favorite holidays here at Senestraro Family Orthodontics. The chance to gather with family and friends to enjoy some home cooking or a nice meal out is why this time of year has such a magical quality. Of course, for our patients wearing braces in Wilsonville, Oregon, the holidays can offer a few potential challenges when it comes to knowing what foods to eat and what to avoid.
If this marks your first Thanksgiving with braces, you might have a few questions about what foods won’t harm your orthodontic appliance during dinner. For our Invisalign Wilsonville patients, just make sure to remove your aligner and brush and floss thoroughly after eating. For our patients wearing a traditional orthodontic appliance, here’s what you need to know about how to enjoy Thanksgiving with braces.
Turkey (or Ham) Time
You have nothing to worry about from eating the traditional turkey or occasional ham during your Thanksgiving meal. Thanks to the soft, juicy nature of these types of roasted meats, you can feel free to indulge all you’d like as they pose no risk to the delicate brackets and wires that hold your braces together. Just make sure you avoid diving into the drumstick, turkey leg or ham bone unless you cut the meal off first. It’s too easy to snag a bracket or wire along the edge of a bone when biting into these cuts of meat.
Enjoy the Corn but Toss the Cob
The biggest risk your braces face from the foods you eat is when having to bite into hard or ridged items, such as meat on the bone or corn on the cob. Eating corn off the cob with braces will not only guarantee you get a lot of food stuck in, between and under your braces, but it can also potential bend wires and actually break the bond that holds a bracket into position. Cut the corn from the cob or enjoy precut corn if you want to enjoy this seasonal staple.
Select the Right Appetizers
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a little pre-meal snacking. Bowls of chips, nuts, popcorn and other snacks often get circulated while the turkey cooks in the oven and A Christmas Story plays on the TV. Unfortunately, these hard items can wreak havoc on your braces, easily becoming lodged under brackets or even potentially causes breaks to occur. If you need a pre-meal nibble, try eating soft sliced cheese, sliced vegetables like carrots, peppers or celery with dip, or cured meats like sliced summer sausage instead.
Skips the Pecan, but Have Seconds of the Pumpkin Pie
To some, Thanksgiving is just not the same without a slice of warm pecan pie. Unfortunately, an exception must be made until your orthodontic treatment is complete. Take solace in the knowledge that while pecan may be off the menu, you can feel free to enjoy all the pumpkin pie you want. Just like avoiding the bowl of nuts earlier, the namesake nut in pecan pie is just too big a risk. However, the soft, smooth texture of pumpkin pie is perfect for our patients wearing braces in Wilsonville, Oregon this Thanksgiving.
Overall, the same rules apply to Thanksgiving as they do the rest of the year when it comes to keeping your braces safe and your orthodontic treatment on schedule. One of the reasons it’s so important for patients to remain disciplined when it comes to what they eat is that 11 months of practice saying no to tasty treats like nuts, chips and the rest makes it much easier to stay the course when surrounded by so many tempting options during the holidays.