Enjoying Holiday Treats While in Braces and Clear Aligners

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As the holidays approach, sweet treats will be all around us. It can be hard to decide which ones to choose with all the delicious options. If you have braces, your decision may be a bit easier since there are certain treats that should be avoided.

Dr. Wes Chladny of Spring Hill’s Dr. Wes Orthodontics is here to help you figure out what you can and can’t eat while in orthodontic treatment during the upcoming holidays with a special note for those in clear aligners.

Dr. Wes says:

As we enjoy sweet treats this holiday season, kids and adults with braces may be wondering which treats are safe to eat without causing loose brackets or broken wires. Enjoying holiday treats is an option with braces, but it depends on the type of candy and sweets.

To avoid having unnecessary office visits and repairs it helps to review what to avoid. In general, it is recommended that people with braces avoid eating hard candy. Braces can only withstand a certain amount of force before they break loose from the teeth they are bonded to, and biting down on hard candy generates a lot of pressure on braces. We suggest avoiding hard candy altogether while wearing braces.

The good news is there are plenty of braces-friendly options you can still enjoy and candy canes are ok if you can resist biting them!

OK TO EAT WITH BRACES: cookies, pudding, hot cocoa, cupcakes, soft pies, brownies, ice cream, chocolate without nuts, cake, and fudge without nuts.

AVOID EATING WITH BRACES: all hard candy, candy with hard nuts, hard pretzels, peanut brittle, pecan pie, and popcorn kernels.

If you have any bands around your teeth (a metal ring with a brace attached), you should also avoid eating candy that is excessively sticky, as the sticky candy can cause the band to come loose from the tooth it is cemented to.

STICKY CANDIES TO AVOID WITH BRACES: caramel, gum drops, and taffy.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR PATIENTS IN CLEAR ALIGNERS: 

One of the main benefits of clear aligners is they are removable so hard and sticky candy is ok. It is always recommended that you brush before putting your aligners back in after you’ve eaten. If you aren’t able to brush right away, rinse your mouth with water and brush the first chance you get. If you are at family gatherings or holiday parties, try to keep your case handy so you have a place to store your aligner. The most common way patients lose an aligner is to wrap it in a napkin and throw it away. Traveling, family gatherings, holiday parties, and all of the busyness of the season can make aligner wear more difficult for some. Clear aligners are most effective when worn 20-22 hours a day. We ask our patients to add additional days to their current aligner if they don’t get in as many hours per day as they should have. If you get off track, give your orthodontist a call for guidance.

If you follow these suggestions, there is less risk you will follow up on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day with a visit to the orthodontist for repairs to your braces and wires. As always, brush well to keep your teeth and braces clean and shiny, especially after eating sugary candy. Have fun and be safe this holiday season!

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation Today

Dr. Wes is currently offering a special promotion as we finish out 2022 for new patients. Call (615) 282-5038 for more information. As always, initial consultations are complimentary. For more info visit https://www.drwesortho.com/.

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