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The holidays are here, and with them come tasty holiday foods. Here are some things you may find on the menu–and whether or not you can eat them while you have braces.

Turkey: Roast turkey and other protein-packed dishes are excellent sources of phosphorous. Phosphorous is a nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium, strengthening teeth. Conveniently, most proteins are perfectly fine to eat with braces–just make sure they are not tough and stringy, and cut the meat off of the bone for optimal braces safety.

Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes are soft, which makes them easy to eat with braces. They are a starch, but they do not stick to your teeth as other starchy foods do. This makes them far less likely to contribute to cavity formation–AND they won’t stick to your braces! Eat away!

Veggie Platter: For this one, unfortunately, you will need to pass. Raw and crunchy vegetables are rough on braces, and can easily break brackets or wires. But don’t ignore your vegetables entirely! Go for the softer steamed or baked options, such as your mother’s classic green bean casserole.

Fruit Salad: Fruits are packed with nutrients and vitamins. These are vital for a healthy mouth, as well as your overall health. This makes fruit a great option! A couple of warnings, though–cut large chunks of fruit into smaller, bite-sized pieces. This is especially necessary for crunchy fruits like apples and pears. Also, be careful of nuts! Many fruit salads contain nuts of some kind, which can damage braces.

Cheeses: Cheeses are a tasty way to get in your calcium for the day, and they don’t hurt braces. They are also low in sugar, which makes a slice of cheese a great tooth-healthy snack, generally speaking. Also, don’t shy away from goat cheeses. Not only do they taste fantastic, but they have higher protein content than cow’s milk cheese, with less fat and fewer calories!

For more information, call New Smile Dentistry in Richardson, Texas, at (972) 231-9591.  Dr. Dawn A. Wu and our team are happy to help you keep your holidays delicious, your smile happy, and your braces intact!