Foods to Avoid This Christmas If You’re Wearing Braces


Now that Christmas is just a few weeks away, so too are the decadent and delicious festive foods that will take centre place on the dinner table. However, if you’re wearing braces during this time, it’s important to consider foods that could be damaging to your braces and teeth, however tempting they may be, and what you can eat on the day so you can still fully enjoy the celebrations.

Although there are many traditional treats available at this time of year, sugary, chewy and hard foods should be avoided, as they could get caught in your braces and damage or break them. Food particles could even become lodged in the crevices of the braces and lead to tooth decay or other oral health problems if not cleaned away properly. It may seem difficult, but resisting these sweet, sticky or hard foods will ensure the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment and that the smile you want can be achieved as quickly as possible and without complication. Here we’ve put together a list of foods best to avoid whilst wearing braces this Christmas, as well as foods which you can eat:

Candy canes - Candy canes decorating the Christmas tree or boiled or chewy sweets adorning gingerbread houses, are commonly consumed at Christmas. Although it’s fine to indulge, when braces are involved the chewy sweets can bend wires and harder sweets can pop brackets. Damaging your braces could lead to further treatment costs for repair, or cause a delay in treatment. Foods high in sugar are also more easily damaging to braces wearers’ teeth, as teeth are harder to clean - sugary foods can rot teeth and cause tooth decay and discolouration if teeth aren’t brushed or flossed properly.

Christmas pudding - Besides being high in sugar, festive chewy desserts like Christmas pudding or mince pies can get caught in your teeth. Chewy food can clog up your braces and make eating and chewing difficult, and may well be embarrassing trying to deal with if you have guests around. Chewy foods can also pull the wires off your braces or make them difficult to clean. Again, if your braces and teeth aren’t cleaned properly, cavities, plaque or other tooth problems may result.

Ice cubes - For those celebrating Christmas with your favourite drinks, chewing on the ice cubes should be avoided, as this could seriously damage both your braces and your teeth and create unwanted dental bills. Also, if you’ll be drinking sugary beverages, make sure to take the proper care of your teeth afterwards!

Hard vegetables - Despite vegetables being good for your health, raw vegetable snacks, or other hard festive foods such as stone fruits or crunchy nuts, can damage the wires and brackets of braces quite easily if you’re not careful. Hard foods should be avoided if possible, and vegetables can be made more manageable by being boiled and cut into smaller pieces. 

What You Can Eat

If you’ll be wearing braces this Christmas, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the treats you love to eat, yet you might need to be more careful not to have anything that could damage your braces or leave stains on your teeth once your braces are finally removed. Just remember to take it slowly when you’re eating and you’ll better avoid discomfort or any sudden issues whilst chewing. Here are some festive foods that you can enjoy with braces:

The main Christmas dinner components, such as the turkey, potatoes and vegetables are fine to eat so long as the vegetables are cooked well and cut up into more manageable pieces.

Alternatives to a sticky Christmas pudding include ice cream, or a festive chocolate log which can be more easily cleaned from the wires and brackets, and won’t be as difficult to chew. Alcohol or sugary beverages are best switched for water or a low sugar squash, to lessen the risks of sugar hiding within the brackets and teeth, which can eventually lead to tooth decay. One day of indulgence won’t hurt though, so long as you remember to clean your teeth properly afterwards!

However, if damage does occur to your braces or teeth over the festive period, you can contact the Northenden House dental practice for the earliest possible appointment on 0161 998 2622.

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