November brings Thanksgiving, and December follows with Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza. During the holidays, people gather with friends and family, enjoying fantastic meals and wonderful treats. Carmel apples, roasted nuts, toffee, and other sweets can wreak havoc on braces, retainers, and other orthodontia. To prevent broken or damaged appliances, consider these suggestions:
• Stay away from gooey caramels and crunchy nuts, which can break brackets or dislodge retainers.
• Choose soft treats like chocolate or pumpkin pie since they won’t harm your orthodontic appliances.
• Don’t chew ice as you finish a festive beverage. Not only can it damage your braces, but it can also crack or chip your teeth.
• If you are wearingInvisalign clear aligners, make sure to remove them before any holiday gatherings.
• After you return home, remember to carefully brush and floss teeth. Because having braces make it more difficult to keep teeth clean, take extra care during the holidays so that you won’t develop any new cavities.
• Try a whitening toothpaste to add a little sparkle to your smile.
Even when you are careful, accidents may still happen. If you knock a bracket off or loosen a wire, contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. Place wax over the area if the damaged appliance starts to irritate your mouth or gums. Most of the time, these situations can wait until the office opens again.