Tips for the Holidays
The holidays are a time to be merry and festive. In other words, eat a lot of sweets! With candy canes, peppermints, gingerbread men, eggnog, Christmas dinner, and so much more, it’s going to be tough on anyone’s mouth. For those who have braces, whether it be adult braces or child braces, eating during the holidays can be a little trickier.
Food can get stuck in your braces, and munching on those hard candy canes can’t be good for them. With that said, you can have a happy holiday without sacrificing your favorite treats. Here are some tips all braces wearers should follow.
Take Extra Care of Your Teeth!
This one is common sense, but we feel like it should be stressed. Brush your teeth twice a day for a few minutes, if you aren’t doing it already. Floss and gargle, making sure to get every morsel of food out of your teeth. You may need special floss to reach those tricky spots that braces give you, so stock up on that. All this can protect you from cavities. Make sure to brush shortly after eating candy, too.
Avoid Certain Foods
Some foods can be a burden on your braces. Here are three offenders that you should try to avoid:
- Any kind of nuts. Nuts can be hard and brittle, potentially causing damage to your braces and teeth. Avoid eating nuts, or at least eat them carefully.
- Candy canes. Biting down on a candy cane can have the same effect as nuts, and those sharp edges can damage your teeth. Plus, that sugar can damage your teeth. If you’re going to have one, break it down into smaller pieces and suck on them until they’re dissolved.
- Caramel apples. Apples themselves require a lot of force to eat, and if you add caramel and potentially nuts to the occasion, it can be a nightmare. Just avoid this treat altogether.
- Speaking of caramel, you should avoid sticky candies in general. Candies such as taffy can be hard to remove from your teeth.
Look for Alternatives
If you’re going to consume candy, why not try some stuff that can be better on your mouth? Here are a few ideas.
- Smoothies, ice cream, and other frozen treats require little chewing, making them a perfect alternative.
- Soft candies, such as Andes mints, can relieve a sweet tooth without damaging your mouth.
Talk to Your Dentist
Not all braces are created equal. Some types, such as Invisalign, won’t need as much care as traditional braces. Depending on what kind of braces you or your child has, just talk with your dentistry. They should be able to tell you what is acceptable to eat, and what you should avoid.
So have fun, be merry, but if you or your child is wearing braces, be cautious of what you eat. You don’t want to end up paying more because you bit into a candy cane and it broke your braces!
Dr. Lesley Williams is a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics. She grew up in Victoria, BC with her parents and two sisters.
After being awarded her Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree in 1989, Dr. Williams then spent six years as a dentist in general practice before deciding that she wanted to further her education by undertaking three extra years of highly specialized training in orthodontics. With her Masters in Science (Orthodontics) degree under her belt, she went on to sit the Orthodontic Specialty Fellowship exams through the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. To date, her status as an active leader in the orthodontic profession means that she holds the following qualifications and positions:
- Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
- Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada
- Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics
- Examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and the American Board of Orthodontics.
- Former president of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (representing 2900 orthodontists from the 4 western Canadian provinces and 8 western American states).
- Active member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists.