It’s December! That means it is time for all of our winter holiday celebrations here in Chantilly. If you are one of our orthodontic patients, a lot of traditional Christmas treats will not be safe for your braces. While there are some foods you’ll want to skip this year in order to protect your braces, there are still plenty of delicious options for you to enjoy. Here are some guidelines from our Chantilly orthodontist to help you celebrate the Christmas season while keeping your braces safe!
Foods to Avoid
Gingerbread – Making gingerbread houses is a classic winter activity, but gingerbread quickly dries and gets too hard to safely chew with your braces. While you can still make gingerbread houses with your friends and family, you’ll want to just enjoy them as decorations instead of eating them after they’ve hardened.
Candy Canes – Peppermint is another iconic Christmas flavor. While candy canes will still look great on your Christmas tree, it is important to remember that hard candy should always be avoided if you have braces, even during the holidays. Try softer peppermint flavored treats, like peppermint marshmallows and chocolates, or even consider switching to peppermint-flavored toothpaste to really get into the holiday spirit!
Sticky or Crunchy Treats – If you have braces, be sure to avoid anything with nuts or caramel. This includes foods like pecan pie, peanut brittle, and candy or caramel apples. Treats like toffee, which is very sticky, should also be avoided. Even if you have Invisalign, we highly recommend brushing and flossing after eating sticky treats like these. Sticky candy, like caramel and taffy, can easily get trapped under the clear aligners, creating the perfect environment for cavities.
Treats to Enjoy
Hot Chocolate – Hot chocolate is a delicious winter drink that you can still enjoy with your braces! Try it with toppings like marshmallows, whipped cream, or chocolate shavings. You can even make peppermint or gingerbread flavored hot chocolate to replace some of the other 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!
Dinner Time – You can still enjoy most classic Christmas dinner dishes with your braces, such tender meats, casseroles, and mashed potatoes! Be sure to load up on soft-cooked veggies too, like green beans and broccoli. You can never get enough mouth-healthy vitamins and minerals!
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! There are also a ton of great holiday events going on in Chantilly that don’t involve food. Go check out some amazing neighborhoods of Christmas lights, or go ice skating!
Remember to not get too carried away with the treats this holiday season. You don’t want to start the new year off with a cavity or damaged brackets! However, as long as you keep your sugar consumption moderate and brush your teeth soon after eating, there is no reason you can’t have an awesome Christmas with your braces. Happy celebrating!