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Holiday Dessert Dos and Don’ts for Braces, Plus Great Alternative Options!

Those with braces are all-too-familiar with the precautions that must be taken before delving into a delicious meal. A holiday buffet packed with candies, cakes, and pies may look delicious, but for those with braces, it can pose a variety of concerns.

What’s safe for my braces?
Will this caramel break a wire or bracket?
How easy will this be to clean out of my teeth later?

The struggle this time of year is real.

But don’t worry. We’re here to help you navigate the holiday dessert table without any oral casualties. Plus, we’ve got some great alternative, braces-friendly foods to satisfy your sweet tooth at any holiday party.

Hard Pass On The Hard Nuts For Holiday Dessert

Most nuts and seeds are a no-go since they are small enough to lodge themselves in the hard-to-reach places of your mouth. They are also hard enough to bend wires, break brackets, and just all around wreak havoc on your mouth gear.

What To Eat Instead

If you’re craving a crunchy, salty snack, opt for crackers or corn chips with dip instead. Tortillas and a good dip are a hard combo to beat, and are still soft enough to work well with your braces. These foods are also much easier to clean out of your mouth afterwards. Another good option is to grind up nuts into paste or butter (e.g. Instead of peanuts, go for peanut butter––just be sure to avoid getting it stuck in your braces while snacking).

Avoid Sticky Situations

Sticky foods like caramel and toffee can easily damage your braces and are a pain to clean out of your mouth. They also remain stuck in your braces unless properly cleaned and can lead to other issues.

While we’re on the topic, sugary foods—while bad in general for your teeth—are extra bad for braces since they can leave discoloration marks, or even decay, after you have your gear removed unless you clean your teeth quickly and properly every time right after eating.

What To Eat Instead

When you’re browsing the dessert table for something sweet, skip the caramel and go for softer ice cream instead. If you want chocolate, avoid stuff like nougat and go for something that’s going to melt in your mouth instead of stuff that’ll get stuck in your brackets or wires.

If you can’t turn down a hard candy like peppermint, then suck on it instead of biting it. Not only will the candy last longer, but so will your pearly whites.

When it comes to sugar in general, it’s best to just avoid it. However, we all know how hard it can be to follow that advice once the warm brownies à la mode comes out. So here’s a more realistic tip. Try to rinse your mouth out or drink plenty of water (maybe swish it around in your mouth a little before swallowing) as soon as possible after you eat anything sugary. This will help to keep the sugar off your teeth and preserve your enamel. Plus, water is good for you so…win-win.

Fruits Can Be Berry Bad Too

Lastly, let’s talk about fruits. Pretty much anything that’s hard or crunchy is going to be risky for your braces, including fruit. It’s a double no if that fruit is stringy or has hard seeds that might get lodged in your mouth. These foods include apples, cherries, raspberries, etc.

What To Eat Instead

If you’re considering the raspberry pie full of seeds, go for the seed-free raspberry cheesecake. Craving strawberries? Try the strawberry cheesecake! In fact, there’s probably a cheesecake or option for any seedy, sticky, or stringy fruit dessert out there. Just remember to drink plenty of water afterward to rinse the sugar from your teeth!

And there you have it! Follow these tips and more from Pearly Whites Dental to make this holiday (and every other day) a healthy one! Be sure to always take proper care of your braces, even in sticky situations.

Pumpkin pie photo
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