Enjoying Thanksgiving with Braces

Nov 15, 2018

Thanksgiving is around the corner and Americans everywhere are looking forward to enjoying their families’ company and delicious home cooking. But, for the millions of people with braces, it can be difficult to navigate the dinner table without knowing which Thanksgiving foods are braces-friendly. For our patients wearing traditional braces, we’re breaking down the Thanksgiving buffet, listing the most braces-friendly and least braces-friendly foods, so you can enjoy your feast safely— without sacrificing any flavor!

Braces-Friendly Foods

  • Turkey: Luckily, the most important part of Thanksgiving dinner is braces-friendly. As long as turkey is sliced, it will not damage braces. Be sure to cut turkey off the bone to avoid accidentally biting too hard and damaging wires or brackets.
  • Casseroles: As long as they don’t have nuts or hard foods in them, casseroles like green bean casserole or sweet potato casserole can be a braces-safe, balanced part of any Thanksgiving meal.
  • Soft-filled pies: While some pies like pecan pies cause trouble for braces, soft-filled pies like lemon meringue, pumpkin, or apple are fine for teeth.
  • Cooked vegetables: Once vegetables are cooked and cut up, they are usually soft enough to eat with braces. Vegetables like mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes are delicious, filling options available at most Thanksgiving Day feasts.

Moderately Braces-Friendly Foods

  • Cranberries and cranberry sauce: Cranberries can stain clear braces, and more importantly, they stick to braces as well. If you have braces, it’s best to avoid cranberries this year.
  • Corn: Corn on the cob is one of the worst foods for braces-wearers to eat since it can bend wires and even break the bonding that holds brackets onto teeth. However, as long as you cut corn off the cob, or purchase it pre-cut, you can still enjoy this seasonal staple without worry.

Least Braces-Friendly Foods

  • Nuts: It’s best to avoid these hard-to-chew snack items, which can cause damage to wires and brackets. However, be sure to also avoid nuts that may be hidden in casseroles, pies, or other dishes.
  • Popcorn: Though popcorn is a fun Thanksgiving snack, the risk of biting into an unpopped kernel threatens your braces. In addition, parts of kernels can easily become stuck in between teeth and cause difficulty when brushing or flossing.

Keeping these foods in mind during this upcoming season, you will be able to navigate your Thanksgiving Day feast worry-free. If you do experience any issues with your braces, be sure to call and schedule an appointment. From all of us, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving.