Enjoying holiday food can be a challenge with braces or clear aligners. Lynn from ArchWired.com offers these helpful tips.
— Lynn Schneider, ArchWired.com
BELMONT, CA, USA, November 15, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Eating can be a challenge for people with braces on their teeth — especially when faced with tempting holiday food for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or even New Year’s Eve. Brackets can poke into their gums and cheeks and chewing becomes difficult. Even wearers of invisible clear aligners face issues in the holiday season, having to constantly remove and clean aligner trays and deal with tooth pain.
“With any type of dental braces, patients may find that their teeth don’t touch the way they did before, which changes the way they chew and causes pain,” says Lynn Schneider, owner of orthodontic website ArchWired.com. “As treatment continues and teeth shift, they continually need to adapt to biting and chewing in a slightly different way,” Lynn says.
Lynn offers this advice to help braces wearers enjoy meals and snacks this holiday season:
1. Patience is the key! Slow down! Chew slowly and carefully and cut food into small pieces. Forget about taking big bites of anything or wolfing down the food. The key word here is: SLOW! Orthodontic treatment changes the way the teeth meet and align when chewing, and it takes time to adapt to these new habits.
2. Stick to soft food. When faced with foods that might be a bit chewy, use a knife and fork. Cut that turkey and ham into small pieces, enjoy soups and soft foods like mashed potatoes, soften the stuffing with gravy, and stick to smooth jellied cranberry sauce.
3. Avoid stringy foods, especially if wearing traditional braces or a palate expander. Cut pasta into small pieces, or it will get wound around the braces brackets. Also, be careful with foods that get stringy when cooked, like some soft cheeses and spaghetti squash.
4. Pecan pie is delicious, but not for braces wearers who might find it too difficult to chew. Foods with nuts and seeds often get stuck in traditional brackets and can be extremely irritating and distracting. Sticky foods will likely stick to brackets and make a mess. Avoid biting into anything hard that may break or pop off a bracket, such as candy canes or hard cookies. For dessert, go for the pumpkin pie, mousse, pudding, soft truffles and cakes, or ice cream. Or chop the pecans extremely finely in a food processor and make a special braces-friendly tart.
5. Bite with the side of the mouth. It may be virtually impossible to bite into anything with the front teeth, anyway! Get used to biting with the side teeth, instead.
6. Beware of anything containing large hidden chunks of meat or vegetables, such as burritos or sandwich wraps (including that leftover turkey sandwich!) Bite carefully into those types of foods or better yet, eat them with a fork and knife instead.
7. One-bite type appetizers and sushi can potentially be a choking hazard. Cut these in half instead of trying to eat an entire piece at once. Avoid appetizers that are hard; stick to the softer ones. Raw fruits and veggies are great but take small bites or cut them into thin pieces.
8. Develop an arsenal of soft food recipes and make something easy to eat that others will also enjoy. There’s no need to stick to boring soups and shakes; there are many “braces cookbooks” with healthy, delicious recipes, such as The Braces Gourmet Cookbook by Pamela Waterman. Also check out the soft food suggestions on ArchWired.com.
9. If eating becomes too uncomfortable because of mouth sores or poking brackets, apply plenty of dental wax or dental silicone.
10. Holiday eating often involves parties or dinners away from home. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that orthodontic patients brush and floss shortly after eating, so a good dental kit is essential. DentaKit.com makes a deluxe Braces Survival Kit, which neatly contains everything necessary to keep braces clean on-the go. Clear aligners or are easily kept clean with convenient Cleanse Freshen Go Retainer and Aligner Wipes.
Celebrating the holidays with orthodontic braces may be challenging, but people with dental braces can get through it successfully with a little forethought, adapted recipes, and the right dental products.
About The Author
Lynn Schneider is the founder and owner of ArchWired.com and its Metal Mouth Message Board, which have been helping orthodontic patients online for more than 20 years. Shortly after getting braces as an adult in 2001, Lynn realized that there was no convenient way for her to find the orthodontic products she needed locally. She then created DentaKit.com to give orthodontic patients easy access to products that would help keep their braces and retainers clean and comfortable.