With parties, barbecues and sugary treats all on the menu over the festive season, maintaining a food routine that caters to your orthodontic work can be slightly more challenging at this time of year.
There’s candy canes, sticky lollies, nuts and a whole host more on the menu – all of which have the potential to damage your braces, and it begs the question, what can I eat over Christmas?
Here’s a guide to what’s in and what’s out on the food front over the festive season to ensure you and your orthodontic work enjoy a truly merry Christmas.
Any foods that require you to bite down hard using your teeth pose a hazard for the brackets and arch wires that make up your braces, so are best avoided or chopped up.
This includes hard lollies like candy canes, but also extends to crisp breads, hard biscuits and even some fruit and raw vegetables.
Fruit like apples or pears, and raw vegetables like carrots are definitely not off the Christmas list but should be cut into bite-sized pieces rather than eaten whole. And, although the summer heat may be sweltering, resist the urge to chew on ice cubes.
From a barbecue steak to nuts and lollies, chewy or sticky foods can also damage or impact your orthodontic work. Not only can really chewy foods dislodge the brackets or bend the wire, they can also become lodged between your brackets and teeth.
That means avoiding items like toffees, caramel and Minties. Meanwhile, treat steaks and meat off-the-bone with caution, cutting them down into small, manageable pieces first.
Christmas sees an abundance of lollies and sugary treats, but in the interests of your teeth these are best avoided or eaten in moderation as they can contribute to the formation of tooth decay.
To avoid this, go easy on the sweets, avoid sugary soft drinks and ensure you maintain a great oral hygiene routine throughout the festive season.
So what can I eat?
Wearing braces over the festive season doesn’t mean all treats are off the menu, it just means avoiding some of the big-ticket problems and taking a little extra care with other foods.
Traditional foods like seafood, turkey, vegetables and salads are all fine to consume, as is pudding, mince pies and Christmas cake. If sweet treats prove irresistible, opt for the non-sticky options and ensure you clean your teeth afterwards.
On that note, the routine of thorough teeth cleaning can take a hit over the busy social season that is Christmas. But this is the time to be more diligent than ever, with snacking between meals likely and foods with higher sugar content readily available.
Make sure you clean your teeth after each meal, and floss or use interdental brushes to remove any hidden food remnants.
Norwest Orthodontics specialises in helping you achieve a great smile, no matter your age. We feature a range of orthodontic treatments that span from early intervention right through to remedial adult work.