Tips for Navigating the Holidays While in Orthodontic Treatment

holidays and braces

Bronx, NY – The holidays are here, and that means yummy treats and fun events to enjoy. If you’re in orthodontic treatment, you may be worried about being able to enjoy the holiday festivities without damaging your braces. Dr. Catherine Woo of Riverdale Family Orthodontics offers her tips for making it through the holiday season without an emergency orthodontic visit.


  1. Don’t forgo your usual oral care routine even though you may be busier or out and about more. Brush often, especially if you find yourself snacking more during the holidays.
  2. Pack an on-the-go braces care kit to keep with you while traveling or out holiday shopping. Items to include:
    • Travel toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Floss or flossers
    • Orthodontic Wax
    • Elastics
    • Aligner case if you wear clear aligners
  3. Remember your list of foods to avoid if you wear braces. Popcorn tins, candy canes, toffee, and tempting treats seem to be everywhere. You may want to indulge, but don’t forget which foods can cause damage to your brackets and wires. Anything too hard, sticky, chewy, or crunchy can pull brackets off or bend wires, so take care to avoid foods like:
    • Nuts and nut brittles
    • Caramels and taffies
    • Candy canes and hard candies
    • Crunchy cookies or desserts with nuts
    • Popcorn
  4. Put down that turkey leg! If you wear traditional braces, avoid foods that you have to bite directly into, like turkey legs, apples, and raw carrots. You can still enjoy these kinds of foods as long as you are careful. Cut them into smaller pieces and don’t bite directly into crunchy foods.
  5. Look to softer sweet treats to enjoy. You don’t have to say no to all holiday treats this year just because you’re in braces. You can still enjoy:
    • Pumpkin pie and other soft pies
    • Hot cocoa
    • Puddings
    • Cupcakes
    • Soft cookies
  6. Don’t forget about your orthodontic plan. If you wear clear aligners, it may be tempting to keep them out for longer periods during the holidays. But remember, the aligners can only work when they’re in your mouth. Stick to your wear schedule so your treatment doesn’t suffer. The same is true if you wear elastics. Those elastics serve an important purpose, so don’t forget them in all the holiday business.


The holidays can be a hectic time of year, but your orthodontic treatment doesn’t have to suffer. By following Dr. Woo’s tips for the holidays, you’ll be able to enjoy the treats of the season and still keep your treatment on track.

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