BracesIt’s December! That means it is time for all of our winter holiday celebrations here in Wichita. We know that a lot of traditional Christmas treats are not safe for our patients with braces, so we wanted to help! While there are many snacks you’ll want to skip this year in order to protect your braces, there are still plenty of treat options for you to enjoy! Here are some guidelines to help you enjoy the Christmas season while keeping your braces safe.

Holiday Foods to Avoid with Braces

Gingerbread Cookies – Making gingerbread houses is a classic winter activity, but gingerbread gets too hard to safely chew very quickly. While you can still make gingerbread houses with your friends and family, you’ll want to just enjoy them as decorations.

Candy Canes – Peppermint is another classic Christmas flavor. While candy canes will still look beautiful on your Christmas tree, it is important to remember that hard candy should still be avoided during the holidays. Try soft peppermint flavored treats, or even consider switching to peppermint flavored toothpaste to really get in the holiday mood!

Anything Sticky or Crunchy – You’ll want to avoid anything with nuts or caramel, including pecan pie, peanut brittle, and candy or caramel apples. Treats like toffee, which is very very sticky, should also be avoided if you have braces.

Braces-Friendly Holiday Foods

Hot Chocolate – Hot chocolate is a winter classic that you can still enjoy with braces! Enjoy it with toppings like marshmallows, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. You can even get peppermint or gingerbread flavored hot chocolate to make up for some of the treats you can’t eat this year!

Soft Baked Goods – You can still have cookies, brownies, cakes, and other soft treats fresh from the oven! Try some homemade sugar cookies decorated with creamy frosting, or some delicious fruit or cream pie! You can still get the yumminess of gingerbread without the crunch with this recipe for Big Soft Ginger Cookies. Another recipe sure to please the chocolate lovers in your home are Fudgy Brownie Bites, a recipe from The Braces Cookbook by Pamela Waterman and Brenda Waterman!

Fresh Fruit – Instead of stuffing your stocking with chewy, sugary candy, ask Santa for some oranges! These and other bright, festive fruits are a great healthy alternative to sugary, processed treats. Fruit is even packed with awesome vitamins, and can still satisfy your sweet tooth! Check out this recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Santas!

Dinner Time – You can still enjoy most classic Christmas dinner dishes with your braces, like tender meats or mashed potatoes! Be sure to load up on soft cooked veggies too, you can never get enough of those vitamins!

Braces-Friendly Alternatives – Don’t be afraid to get creative this year! There are plenty of ways to adjust your favorite holiday treats to make them safe for your braces. For example, try making your “gingerbread” house out of graham crackers so that you can eat it after!

Remember to not get too carried away with the treats this holiday season. However, as long as you’re only consuming sugar in moderation and brushing your teeth soon after, there is no reason you can’t enjoy Christmas with your braces. Happy celebrating!