Eating Thanksgiving Dinner with Braces

By November 21, 2016 Blog

thanksgiving dinner with bracesHappy Thanksgiving from Dougherty Orthodontics! With the big feast just around the corner, you may be wondering if it’s okay to indulge in all of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes during orthodontic treatment. To help you out, we’ve put together some information about how to safely eat Thanksgiving dinner with braces.

Guidelines for Enjoying a Safe Thanksgiving Dinner with Braces

There’s no need to miss out on all your favorite holiday treats just because you wear braces. However, in order to prevent damage to your braces or other orthodontic appliances, you’ll need to be a little extra cautious about what you eat and how you eat it. Here are some tips on what to eat and what not to eat this Thanksgiving.

What to Eat

In general, anything that’s soft and non-sticky is fair game. The following foods are excellent, braces-friendly Thanksgiving dishes:

  • Turkey or ham—removed from the bone and cut into bite-size chunks
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Steamed or well-cooked vegetables
  • Green bean casserole
  • Sweet potatoes or yams
  • Jello salad
  • Pies with a soft filling—such as pumpkin, chocolate mousse, or sweet potato pie

What Not to Eat

Foods that are hard, sticky, or chewy could damage your braces and prolong your orthodontic treatment time. The following foods should be avoided when it comes to eating Thanksgiving dinner with braces:

  • Corn on the cob (unless you remove it from the cob and eat it right off your plate)
  • Raw carrots
  • Raw apples
  • Caramel and caramel apples
  • Casseroles containing crunchy ingredients—such as croutons or nuts
  • Pies containing nuts or crunchy crusts—such as pecan pie
  • Any other foods containing nuts
  • Crispy potato dishes
  • Popcorn

Remember: It’s important to keep your braces clean in order to maintain a healthy smile throughout your treatment. After the meal is over, be sure to floss and brush thoroughly.

Have questions about how to safely enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with braces? Contact us. Call St. Louis orthodontist, Dr. Dougherty, at 636.825.1000 or email Have a Happy Thanksgiving!