So, you made it through the first round of holiday eating without a broken bracket or a lost tray. Congratulations! It’s not easy to pass on the candy canes, nuts, caramels, and toffees that can wreak havoc on your braces. Plus, we know how difficult it can be to find your aligner trays after drinking all that eggnog and other beverages that induce Christmas Cheer.
However, with New Year’s Eve coming up, you have another round of making the best choices possible. So here are a few things to consider when you go to the next series of organized social eating situations, aka parties.
The Dos and Don’ts of Eating and Drinking with Modern Orthodontic Treatment
As a reminder, here are the foods you should avoid all the time when wearing braces:
- Sticky Foods: You don’t want things lodged in between your brackets and teeth. So, lay off caramels and taffy, among other things.
- Hard Foods: Hard or crunchy foods can break wires or knock brackets off. So skip the super crunchy stuff and stick to soft foods if possible.
- Sugary Foods: Excessive sugar can be hard on enamel, especially when cleaning your teeth is more challenging than usual because of your braces. We recommend laying off the cookies, candy, and soda whenever you can.
And remember, if you have clear aligners, you need to remove them and put them in their case when you eat or drink anything and be sure to brush your teeth before you put them back on. Otherwise, you could get food or bacteria trapped under the plastic, which isn’t doing your enamel any favors.
So, What Can You Eat?
The good news for those of you wearing clear aligners is once you remove your aligner tray (and put it in the case!), you can eat or drink anything you want. So, Happy New Year’s Eve to you, and try not to rub it in for your friends who might have traditional brackets and wires.
For those of you with braces headed to the snack table, look for the braces-friendly choices. For example, instead of gobbling up the crackers or corn chips, head for the cheeses and meat trays. Choose olives for your salt fix over pretzels and skip the baby carrots on the vegetable tray. Instead, grab a few tomatoes and peppers, which will be easier on your brackets. The good news is you can eat all the shrimp and smoked salmon you can find.
When it comes to dinner choices, we have suggestions also. For example, choose seafood and meats like turkey or ham for your entrée and soft cooked vegetables like mashed potatoes or steamed spinach. When it comes to fruits, softer is better, so maybe applesauce over apples and all the berries you can hold. Dairy desserts are also on the menu, so ice cream, pudding, custard, and whipped cream are all green-lit items on New Year’s Eve.
As for drinking, be responsible first and foremost. If you are drinking, don’t drive. Call an Uber, Lyft or Cab, or have a designated driver in your group.
However, alcohol has other dangers, too. It can dry out your mouth and contribute to a hospitable environment for bacteria to thrive and cause decay. Also, if you are drinking, you need to alternate your adult beverages with water, not only to wash out the sugary residue alcohol can leave behind, but also to keep you from feeling too bad the next day.
If you are skipping the alcohol (or are not of legal drinking age yet), be sure to keep your sugary beverages under control also. The sugars in the drinks also create a hospitable environment for bacteria to thrive in your mouth. Be sure to drink water, just like you would if you were having a stronger drink.
No matter what you drink, be sure to brush and floss. We know you are in for a late-night, but staring the new year off right with good hygiene is the best way to take care of your oral health and help your smile be at its best.
The holidays are a wonderful time of year for eating and drinking with friends. When you have modern orthodontic treatment, they can still be enjoyable. Just be sure to make the right choices that have you ringing in the New Year with style instead of ringing us up to fix a problem.
We here at Bloom Orthodontics in Long Beach want to wish you a Happy New Year. May 2020 give you lots of reasons to show off your new smile.
To schedule your free consultation today, call Bloom Orthodontics office in Long Beach at 562-421-8883.
Bloom Orthodontics in Long Beach has a long history of improving our patients’ smiles. We provide modern orthodontic treatments delivered with old fashioned excellence in patient experience. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
“What can I eat at Christmas with braces?” orthodonticsaustralia.org.au. Web. 29 December 2019. <https://orthodonticsaustralia.org.au/can-eat-christmas-braces/>.
“How to do Christmas with braces.” Freshdentalcare.co.uk. 17 December 2016. Web. 29 December 2019. <https://www.freshdentalcare.co.uk/post/how-to-do-christmas-with-braces>.