Christmas is coming, and as sure as Santa will arrive Christmas night with gifts in tow, families will be enjoying their favorite Christmas cookies during the holiday season.

And while just about everyone loves Christmas cookies, and have their own personal favorites, kids and adults who wear braces should avoid hard cookies, cookies with hard nuts and other holiday foods that can damage braces and other orthodontic devices.

But just because you wear braces, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid Christmas cookies altogether this holiday season.

At Grace & Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach and Niceville, we want our patients to enjoy the holidays and all the food and fun they offer. But we want to make sure your braces aren’t damaged, and you emerge from the holidays on course to the great smile you want – and are striving for through orthodontic care.

If you have any questions about foods to avoid during the holidays, or if you need to schedule an appointment, contact Grace & Bowman today.

Now, back to important part of this blog: Cookies.

One cookie that is soft, safe and delicious for those with braces is the soft Ginger Bread Cookie. If you would like to try baking some, here is the recipe from ”The Braces Cookbook: Recipes You (And Your Orthodontist) Will Love.”

Making them can be a fun activity for the whole family.

The cookies are fantastic-tasting and hot fresh from the oven. But they’re great for those with braces because they don’t become too hard when they cool down.

Here’s what you will need:

  • One half cup of sugar.
  • A half cup shortening.
  • Half cup of molasses.
  • One quarter cup of water.
  • Three-quarter teaspoon of salt.
  • One half teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Three-quarter teaspoon of ginger.
  • One quarter teaspoon of nutmeg.
  • Two and half cups of all-purpose flour.
  • An extra 1/4 cup of flour for cutting and rolling.
  • A rolling pin and some cookie cutters.

Next, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. You will bake cookies for eight to 10 minutes.

In a big bowl, mix sugar, molasses, shortening and water. Use an electric mixer and beat until creamy.

Mix in salt, ginger, baking soda, nutmeg and flour. The dough will feel stiff.

Divide dough into two mounds and wrap each one in wax paper or in a sealed container. Chill them for a minimum of one hour.

Use your counter or cutting board, and dust them with flour. Place one of the chilled mounds of dough in the center. Sprinkle it with additional flour.

Use your rolling pin and roll out dough until it is about a quarter inch thick. Use the cookie cutters to cut out shapes.

Roll out and use scraps until dough has been shaped.

Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake them for seven minutes, at 375 degrees.

If you like, decorate your cookies with frosting. Store them in a covered container. Enjoy and Happy Holidays from all of us at Grace & Bowman Orthodontics!