Fall is a beautiful time to be here in Wichita, Kansas. We love to take a few moments during this season to think about all the things we are thankful for, including our awesome patients! Sometimes it can be difficult to enjoy your regular holiday traditions when you have braces, as your diet is restricted for safety reasons. However, we have some good news! Most traditional Thanksgiving foods are actually braces friendly. We have put together this guide to give you some information about which Thanksgiving dishes to indulge in and which ones to save for next year, when your braces are off.
Start Off Right
While you’re waiting for dinner to be ready, of course you’re going to snack! You’ll want to avoid crunchy raw veggies, overly crusty breads, and other foods that are difficult to chew. Try snacking on cheese and crackers or fresh fruit before dinner!
Once the plates come out, salads are a great way to balance out some of the heavier traditional Thanksgiving treats you’ll be enjoying. Leafy salad greens are awesome for your teeth, but be cautious of crunchy toppings like raw veggies and croutons that can damage your braces.
Your Main Course
Most of the traditional main dishes at the Thanksgiving table are already perfect for eating with braces! Meats like turkey, ham, and chicken can all be tender enough to chew if you have braces. There are also a few spices and herbs you can add to change up your typical Thanksgiving recipes that can boost your overall dental health! These are sure to give your main courses the extra kick they need to make Thanksgiving truly phenomenal this year. Of course, you’ll want to cut up your meat, and any other tough foods, into bite-sized pieces. Avoid eating meat directly off the bone, which requires a harmful tearing action that can damage your braces. Sorry, no turkey legs this year!
Most typical Thanksgiving side dishes are already braces friendly, which is great! Orthodontic patients are able to easily enjoy sides like potatoes, corn bread, rolls, stuffing, steamed veggies, and soft casseroles. One side dish that you’ll need to watch out for is corn on the cob, as the same tearing action that makes turkey legs a bad choice is required to bite the corn off the cob with your front teeth. However, you can still eat corn as long as you scrape it off the cob first!
A lot of Thanksgiving desserts are also braces friendly! Pies like pumpkin, chocolate cream, and apple are all soft enough to chew. If you have braces, you’ll want to avoid desserts with nuts, (like pecan pie), and sticky foods like caramel apples. If you’re looking to order some pies for your holiday celebration, check out our local favorites like Spear’s Restaurant and Pie Shop or Oak and Pie!
Be sure to bring your toothbrush and floss with you to dinner so that you can clean your teeth and braces after enjoying your delicious Thanksgiving meal. We are so thankful for our awesome patients and their beautiful smiles. Happy holidays!