It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Enjoying the holidays can still be wonderful, even when you are wearing braces. Spending time with family, caroling with your friends, pretending to laugh at Uncle Larry’s corny jokes. Seeing people you may not have seen all year gives you a chance to show off your oral bling!
If your child (or niece or nephew, or neighbor kid down the street) has braces, please, parents—make wise choices about what candy to stuff in their stockings, or what treats to send in to school for the holiday party. Kids (and, well, grown-ups, too) can only handle so much temptation before diving face first into a stocking full of candy canes.
For your benefit, we have compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts for the braces-wearers in your life this holiday season.
- DON’T fill stockings with sticky, sweet candy. Hard candy can damage braces, and seriously put a damper on the holiday cheer. Sticky candy—you guessed it—sticks to kids’ teeth, and even more so when there are brackets and wires to hide behind and between. Unless you want to give your kids the gift of cavities and tooth decay, steer clear of this kind of sweet!
- DO substitute candy for other holiday treats. Your kid doesn’t need to be totally out of luck just because she can’t chew on taffy with her cousins. Satisfy her sweet tooth with delicious dried fruit—a far better alternative to sweets that are high in sugar. You can also fill her stocking with non-food items that she will enjoy just as much. Your child will appreciate gifts that make braces-wearing a little bit easier: toothbrushes designed to clean teeth with braces, handy on-the-go braces care kits, even a professional (or at-home) teeth whitening.
- DON’T forget about folks with braces when planning your holiday menu. Not every piece of meat needs to be a drumstick or a rib.
- DO make sure your braces-wearing guests have safe food to eat. Steam some veggies until they’re soft. Include cut up fresh fruit on the dessert table. Provide serrated knives to cut up the meat into tiny, bite-sized pieces.
See our blog post about a recipe for soft gingerbread cookies as another great gift idea!
Showing your friends and family you care is one of the most important parts of the holiday season. This year, take a little bit of time to make sure the people with braces who you love know that they matter to you. They will be constantly aware of how their food and other choices are impacting their braces, and they may really appreciate someone else being mindful as well.