Orthodontist Approved Thanksgiving Food Ideas in Long Beach
Orthodontist Approved Thanksgiving Food Ideas in Long Beach

Orthodontist Approved Thanksgiving Food Ideas in Long Beach

Thanksgiving is almost here but those with braces might be more anxious than excited about the upcoming feast. After all, there are dietary restrictions that come with having traditional metal or porcelain ceramic braces, and you may be wondering if you or your child is going to be able to enjoy the festivities.

Here is a list of orthodontist-approved Thanksgiving foods you can enjoy this year even with braces. Eat these to your heart’s content and have a great holiday!

What Thanksgiving Foods Can You Enjoy if You Have Braces?

In general, you can still eat the same kind of foods you can always eat while you have your braces. This means that you can enjoy any food that is soft, comes in small pieces, and is easy to chew. Avoid crunchy, hard, and chewy foods as always. Specific ideas are presented below.

Which Appetizers Can You Eat if You Have Braces?

Most appetizers are off-limits because they are crunchy or hard, but you can enjoy deviled eggs, (tailless) shrimp, and all the cheese and soft fruits you would like. If you want, you can substitute soft breads for the crackers and chips normally used with spreads and dips so you will not miss out on those.

Which Main Dishes Are Good for Those Who Have Braces?

Both the traditional Thanksgiving mainstays -turkey and ham -are perfectly fine to eat if you have braces. These are both soft foods. Eat small bites already cut from the bone and you will be good to go.

If you are having an alternative main dish for Thanksgiving dinner, you can eat it if it is not hard or tough to chew. Pot roast, for example, is fine if it is tender enough to be shredded. Tough meats such as steak are not recommended.

What Side Dishes Will Be Okay to Eat With Braces?

The majority of side dishes are fine to eat when you have braces. Almost all soups and casseroles are on the approved list. This means classic green bean casserole is fine. Just avoid casseroles made with nuts or other crunchy toppings. Leave the nuts off the sweet potato casserole this year and it will be fine.

You can enjoy salad as long as you leave off the nuts, croutons, and big chunks of crunchy vegetables like carrots.

Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are an ideal food to eat when you have braces, at Thanksgiving and otherwise, so load up your plate with them.

Cranberry sauce and gravy are great foods to eat when you have braces as well. Be sure to drink plenty of water to dilute the acidity of the cranberries and protect your enamel. Most stuffing is also okay to eat, as long as it does not have crunchy add-ins.

Vegetables cooked until soft are also a good choice. You can cook them in many different ways and you do not need to eat them plain. Bring on the spices and the sauces.

Soft breads and rolls are a great choice if they have not been made with nuts or other crunchy toppings. You can eat as many of them as you like.

Which Desserts Are Approved for People to Eat With Braces?

Most desserts are going to be a safe choice. Custards, puddings, and mousse are smooth and creamy and will not damage your braces. Ice cream is a perfect choice, as is cheesecake. Most cakes are a great Thanksgiving dessert if you have braces. Pies such as pumpkin, apple, cherry, chocolate, lemon, key lime, and other fruit pies are fine for you to enjoy.

What you need to watch out for are versions of all these treats made with nuts. Anything that has nuts added to it, such as apple walnut pie, is a definite treat to avoid if you do not want to end up in the Long Beach office the next week to get your braces repaired!

What About Thanksgiving Leftovers?

If you are a fan of Thanksgiving leftovers and meals made with them, you do not have to deny yourself this year. Most of the traditional meals made with leftovers, such as soup and shepherd’s pie, are perfectly fine to eat with braces. The recipes you need to watch out for are those that add crunchy items to your leftovers. Other than that, you will be good.

Are There Any Foods That Should Definitely Be Avoided?

Absolutely. The same foods you normally avoid should still be avoided on Thanksgiving. This means crunchy raw vegetables like carrots are off the list. Corn on the cob needs to wait until your orthodontic treatment is complete. You can cut the kernels off the cob and eat them separately, however.

Anything that has nuts or is crunchy needs to be avoided. This means no chips or crackers. Sticky and gooey treats like sweet buns are off the list. You need to avoid pecan pie both because of the nuts and the stickiness of the pie itself. Avoid anything made with caramel as well. That means no caramel apples or caramel cake.

What Should I Do if There Is a Problem with My Braces Over the Long Weekend?

First of all, do not panic. Most orthodontic problems are not emergencies. Call our Long Beach office and let us know what is going on and we will get you in for a repair as soon as we can. As long as there is no bleeding or wires poking the gums, you will be fine waiting a few days until the weekend is over.

If there is an emergency problem, you will need to see an emergency dentist or go to your local emergency room for treatment. In this case, you still need to call us and come in for a follow-up with your orthodontist the week after Thanksgiving.

Do You Want a Better Smile?

Orthodontics of Long Beach treats children and adults in the Long Beach area. We offer traditional metal braces, porcelain ceramic braces, and Invisalign® clear aligners, among other orthodontic appliances. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financing options. We even have flexible appointment times to help you fit your dental care into your busy schedule.

Call Orthodontics of Long Beach at (562) 667-2973 today and make an appointment!


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