Braces come with a lot of special care requirements. With the holiday season right around the corner, there are a lot of hidden challenges to face in relation to the care and keeping of your braces and oral hygiene. From travel to holiday foods, not all the holiday hazards are avoidable. With diligence, common sense and a few extra steps can help you stay on track to a beautiful smile.
Holiday Foods to Watch Out For
There are everyday foods your orthodontist will advise against eating when you have braces. This is to prevent damage and protect the overall health of your teeth. Nuts, popcorn, hard candy, and caramel are all things that make the “what not to eat” list. The tricky part of the holiday season for braces wearers is the abundance of these hazardous treats. Whether it’s caramel apples to ring in the fall or pecan pie at big holiday meals, these seasonal treats are still potentially damaging. Though it is best to continue avoiding these foods, it doesn’t mean all holiday treats are off the list. Look for softer treats such as pumpkin pie, ice cream, fruit cups, gelatin desserts, and even thinly sliced apples dipped in chocolate or yogurt. Having braces doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy holiday treats. It just means to continue using the same care and consideration you would on any other day.
Traveling and added sweets during the holiday season make managing your oral care routine extra important. Normally, The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that patients brush and floss after eating sweets, but you may want to take it a step further according to some dentists. Brushing as soon as five minutes following a meal or snack is another recommendation.
Overall, it is important for orthodontia wearers to remember to dedicate extra time to brushing and flossing properly. It may help to keep a travel toothbrush and supplies handy. Though it is not a substitute for brushing, rinses may be especially pivotal to maintaining oral health when access to running water to brush teeth is not available, such as during holiday travel. Don’t forget bottled water is always a usable option in lieu of potable sink water!
The holidays are a season for celebration and family time. Even with braces, you can indulge and enjoy this time of year. Just be sure to watch out for treats that may be a hazard to your smile and always remember to maintain the cleaning routine and practices as directed by your orthodontist. Dr. Marc S. Wright and his team are always happy to guide you on the best way to keeping your smile healthy and bright. Feel free to call us with any questions.