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With the upcoming holidays around the corner, your orthodontics treatment won’t take a holiday, so it’s up to you to remember why you are wearing braces. With proper care, you can enjoy all the festivities by following a few helpful tips that will keep your teeth and braces safe and keep your treatment timeline on track. Along with seeing our orthodontist for routine appointments, keeping rubber bands, toothpaste, wax and retainer cases on hand is a great way to start the season.

Halloween is hard on braces with the frightening amounts of sugar that come at you but also the texture and hardness of the treats that can damage braces parts (and make them difficult to clean). Trade hard, chewy candy like popcorn balls, caramels, taffy, blow pops and candied apples for chocolate, soft cookies, muffins, cupcakes, sliced fresh fruit or jarred fruit.

Thanksgiving is actually easier on braces. Trade pecan pies and crunchy vegetables for soft cheeses, deviled eggs, bite-sized turkey pieces off the bone, creamy mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, corn casserole, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie to safeguard brackets and wires.

This Christmas make sure you don’t damage braces or invite cavities and tooth discoloration around the brackets. Trade traditional candy canes, peanut brittle, fudge and chewy candies for fresh seasonal fruits – kiwis, oranges, clementines, grapefruit and tangerines, which are rich in vitamin C and can help you fight gum disease (along with seasonal colds). Soft-cooked vegetables are safe, as are soft cheeses like brie and cheese balls, soft cookies, bread puddings, cakes, muffins, jarred fruits, fresh berries and seedless grapes.

No matter what the holiday, be sure to remain diligent when it comes to your daily oral hygiene because neglecting it can set your treatment time back. Brush after each meal using a toothbrush (or interdental toothbrush) and fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least twice a day, or after meals whenever possible. Floss threaders can make cleaning between teeth, brackets, and wires easier, and many patients find using an oral irrigator easy and effective. Take the time to care for your teeth and braces while enjoying the festivities so you can put forth your best smile!