What can I eat at Christmas with braces?
It may be snowing in other parts of the world, but for us Aussies, Christmas Day is all about enjoying the sunshine, firing up the BBQ and indulging in a delicious range of meats, salads, snacks and desserts with family and friends. With so many treats on offer, it can be tricky to make sure the foods you’re eating are braces-friendly. Whether you have traditional metal braces, lingual (inside) or ceramic (clear) braces, you might be wondering what you can and can’t indulge in this festive season. The good news? You can still enjoy your favourite foods this Christmas - all it takes is a little pre-planning…
‘Red light’ foods – try to avoid!
- Hard foods: Steer clear of any hard foods such as candy canes, biscotti, crisp or crusty bread, and hard biscuits, as these foods can lead to a broken bracket or damaged wire. As tempting as it can be to chew on ice cubes at the bottom of your drink, this can also be dangerous for those with braces.
- Sticky foods: Anything too sticky can also cause damage to your braces as food can get lodged in between the brackets and your teeth. Try to avoid eating sticky caramels, chewy sweets and toffees, but go ahead and indulge in a soft mince pie or Christmas pudding!
- Sugary foods: We know it can seem almost impossible at this time of year, but try to avoid eating too many sweets or drinking too much soda, especially in between meals. Having braces at Christmas makes it a little harder to keep your teeth clean, so make sure you’re brushing thoroughly around your braces after each meal.
‘Orange light’ foods – eat carefully!
- BBQ fare: Meat on the bone style steak, ribs and chops can be tricky to eat and are best avoided. That doesn’t mean the family BBQ is off the menu though - it just means these sorts of foods need to be cut into smaller, more manageable pieces and eaten with care.
- Nuts and crackers: While most nuts are best avoided, soft walnuts can usually be eaten safely. Small crackers are also great for satisfying those crunchy and salty cravings, and corn chips with salsa and guacamole make for a delicious Christmas Day snack.
- Crunchy veggies: Take care when eating raw veggies like carrots or celery, and fruits such as apples. Make sure you cut your fruit and veggies into small pieces to avoid bending or dislodging the wire in your braces.
‘Green light’ foods – go for seconds!
- Seafood and meats: Basic common Christmas meats such as turkey, chicken and ham won’t do any damage to braces, but as noted above, just be careful of chewing on the bones! Seafood such as salmon, tuna, fish and scallops are also Aussie favourites on Christmas day, and there’s no need to miss out on these foods just because you have braces!
- Dairy foods: Most dairy foods are a safe option with braces so enjoy your cream cheese, custard, ice cream, yoghurt and milkshakes this Christmas!
- Soft grains: Go ahead and enjoy soft breads, tortillas, muffins, pancakes, pasta or rice – all of these foods are braces-friendly.
- Fruits and veggies: Soft cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes and steamed greens make a delicious, nutritious and braces-friendly accompaniment to any Christmas Day lunch, as well as most fruits including applesauce, bananas, berries and fruit juices.
Booking a consultation:
If you’re still unsure of what braces-friendly foods you should be eating over the holidays, speak to your orthodontist. To find a registered orthodontist, check the Find An Orthodontist tool here.