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The holidays are coming up, and with them comes copious amounts of candy and other treats. Unfortunately, many of these treats would damage your child’s braces. How do you strike the balance–make the holiday fun, while maintaining excellent oral health AND not damaging any wires or brackets? Our office is here with a few suggestions to help you out.

First, understand what your child should not be eating. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) advises against such things as taffy, popcorn, nuts, lollipops, licorice, jelly beans, hard pretzels, hard candy, gummy candies, gumdrops, caramel, and bubblegum. These can damage or break your child’s braces. Sticky foods like candy can also get stuck in between braces and increase cavities.

Second, help your child understand that there are many treats they ARE still able to eat. To help make sure there is something they can have, perhaps volunteer to bring something they can eat to holiday parties (as appropriate). When you are in charge of the treats, make sure they are braces-friendly. Here are some options:

–thinly sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar
–brownies cut into holiday shapes and decorated
–cake
–cheese platters
–custard pie
–fruit pie
–fudge (no nuts)
–ice cream
–orange slices dipped in chocolate
–peanut butter cookies (no nut pieces)
–pumpkin pie

Of course, when eating sugary snacks and treats, make sure to keep portions small for everyone. Have your child rinse their mouth with water afterwards to help remove food particles and debris from between wires and brackets. Remind them to brush and floss extra-carefully that day.

For more information, call Ora R. Canter, DDS Orthodontics in Astoria, New York, (including Queens, Long Island City, Woodside, Elmhurst, Corona, Jackson Heights, and Middle Village areas) at 718-278-2441. Dr. Ora Rosenfeld Canter and our whole team will be happy to help you keep your smile healthy this holiday season.