Thanksgiving arrives later this month and all of us at Grace & Bowman Orthodontics in Fort Walton Beach and Niceville want to wish all our patients and their families a healthy and happy holiday.

We hope it’s filled with family, friends and all your favorite foods!

At Grace & Bowman, we know from experience that Thanksgiving and the holidays to follow in December are often a challenge for people with braces – especially if this is your first Turkey Day wearing braces.

Eating holiday food with braces can be a challenge – but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy Thanksgiving like you do every year.

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to try a wide variety of great foods. Thanksgiving is a time to eat. And you can, and eat well – even if you wear braces.

But we want you to be careful about what you eat. You don’t want to damage your orthodontic work, which can mean extra visits and more time in the orthodontist chair.

So we compiled a list of holiday foods that you should avoid if you have braces.

On the bright side, we also offer a list of foods that are safe for you to enjoy on Thanksgiving – and the rest of the year!

Here are some holiday foods you should be able to safely enjoy if you wear braces:

  • Ham and Turkey: – These holiday staples are safe to eat, and delicious. Be careful not to eat these foods off the bone. In addition, it’s safer for you to cut meat into small, more manageable pieces.
  • Corn: Corn on the cob should be avoided, but creamed corn and other soft dishes that are Thanksgiving faves should be fine. Eat up!
  • Potatoes:  Sweet potatoes are safe for the brace-wearer, and you may want to go for mashed potatoes in general.
  • Stuffing: Holiday stuffing is safe to eat and delicious for those with braces. But check to be sure stuffing is not filled with nuts or crunchy ingredients. They can cause problems for your braces and teeth.
  • Green beans: These traditional favorites are great for brace-wearers because they are soft. Various vegetable casseroles are safe, but again, ask if there are nuts or other crunchy ingredients before you dig in.
  • Dessert: Most desserts, including pumpkin and apple pies, are safe. Again, be sure no crunchy ingredients are hiding in desserts, and brush your teeth when you are done!

Here are foods we advise you stay away from. It’s likely a familiar list if you have been wearing braces for some time:

  • Popcorn: Those hard kernels can damage braces.
  • Chips: It’s a snack you should avoid.
  • Nuts:  Cashews, almonds, peanuts – you get the idea. These hard nuts can damage braces and should be avoided.
  • Caramel: This chewy candy sticks to your braces.

We hope this food advice helps make your Thanksgiving more enjoyable – and prevents any orthodontic emergencies during the holiday.

So Happy Thanksgiving!

If you do experience major problems during the Thanksgiving holiday, feel free to contact us.