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Thanks for Thanksgiving Food

Thanksgiving is coming and that is great news for patients in braces. Sure, there are a lot of food items that you are supposed to avoid when wearing traditional braces, but Thanksgiving offers plenty of options that are braces friendly.

Let’s start with the foods that you should avoid during orthodontic treatment. They include anything that is hard or sticky because they can break your braces. When a brace is broken off of a tooth, the tooth is no longer moving into its proper position. A tooth that isn’t moving will then add extra time in braces to your original estimated treatment time. That is why food like starbursts, taffy, lollipops, gum, jolly ranchers, nuts, hard pretzels and gummy bears should be avoided. Keep in mind that these are just a few examples of the many food items that should be avoided and by no means is it a comprehensive list. So use your judgement when choosing foods to eat.

Another food to avoid is popcorn. The problem with popcorn is that the kernels can easily get stuck in between your gums and the braces, making it even harder to remove than if you did not have braces on. The kernel can then cause inflammation and pain in the area that it is lodged in if it is not removed. Frequently, the consumption of this delicious delight results in an emergency visit due to pain. So stay clear away!

In addition to avoiding certain foods, you need to learn to eat certain foods differently. For example, apples are healthy and can be eaten with your braces on, you just can’t take a big bite out of one with your front teeth. The solution is to cut it up into small pieces so that you can use your back teeth to chew it. The same goes for carrots, pizza crust and bagels. Corn on the cob will need to be cut off the cob because you can’t bite directly into the cob. Raw vegetables will need to be cut up in small pieces, but well cooked vegetables are not problem at all to sink your teeth into.

So what is so good about Thanksgiving dinner? Just about everything! Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, glazed carrots, squash soup, cranberry, apple pie, green bean casserole, cornbread, and pumpkin pie are all nice and soft for patients in braces. So go ahead and enjoy that second serving.

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