The Thanksgiving feast is here, and so are the choices. White meat or dark? Two plates or three? And if you have braces, you may be wondering what foods are safe to eat and what should be avoided. Fortunately, most Thanksgiving staples are braces friendly. With a little guidance, you can enjoy the banquet while preventing plaque and cavities, and keep from hurting your teeth and damaging your braces.

A general rule to follow while filling your holiday plate is to avoid foods that are hard or sticky. Foods that are hard or crunchy increase the chance of damaging wires and brackets, while sticky foods tend to get caught in between the brackets and teeth.

Fill up on these Thanksgiving mainstays:

Turkey— It’s hardly Thanksgiving without it. Just remember to cut the meat off the bone before eating it to avoid damaging the braces.

Ham— Just like the turkey you should have no issues with this one. Cutting meats into smaller pieces may make it easier to eat.

Stuffing— You should have no problems having some stuffing with your turkey.

Vegetables— As long as your veggies are cooked you are in the clear. If you have corn, make sure to cut it off the cob.

Muffins— There should be no problems with muffins, rolls or other bread. Just double-check that there are no added nuts, and you’re good to go.

For more Thanksgiving soft recipe ideas, check out our board on Pinterest –

Steer clear of these foods:

Nuts— Nuts can damage your braces. Ask if they have been added to any dishes you are going to eat.

Popcorn— Hard kernels may damage your braces, and the hulls are notorious for getting stuck in your teeth.

Uncooked vegetables— Broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower are fine to eat if they are cooked. However, in their raw form they are too hard and may damage your braces.

Corn on the cob — On the cob, corn can do some damage to braces. But there are no problems if it is cut off.

Chips— Chips are too crunchy and pose risks to braces.

Caramel— Avoid this sticky treat that can easily get caught up in your braces.

Also, just a friendly reminder, it is important to limit the amount of sugary treats you eat. And it’s not a bad idea to brush your teeth after all those slices of pie. Your teeth will thank you if you keep these tips in mind as you are indulging. From all of us at Molen Orthodontics we wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

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