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Autumn is a great season, and as a bonus, it means the holidays are just around the corner. This means parties, and parties usually mean food. With all those holiday treats around, sometimes it can be hard for people with braces. Sometimes it seems impossible to enjoy the goodies of the season, because of limitations of a braces-conscious diet. Not true! Here are some holiday tips to make sure you take excellent care of your braces and teeth during the holidays.

First, it’s very important to understand what foods you should avoid. The American Association of Orthodontists (AOO) recommends staying away from bubblegum, taffy, caramel, popcorn, hard candy, lollipops, hard pretzels, licorice, nuts, and jelly beans. This may seem like a long list, but remember, there are lots of other delicious options.

Though you should eat sugary and acidic foods in moderation, there is room for treats in your holiday diet. Try thinly sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, brownies (no nuts!) cut into holiday shapes, orange slices dipped in chocolate, soft cookies or gingersnaps, or graham cracker houses with frosting and chocolate. When eating sugary foods, make sure to stick to small portions, and rinse your mouth out with water when you are finished. Make sure to brush and floss extra-well on those days that you eat sugary or acidic snacks.

For dinner-party desserts, try cake, fruit or custard pies, or ice cream. Or try a cheese and fruit platter, for a classy, braces-friendly dessert. As a side note, cheese is full of calcium, which is excellent for oral health. For a truly tasty treat, try goat cheese! It actually has more calcium and protein per serving and fewer calories. All of these are beneficial for your oral (and overall) health.

An excellent way to make sure there is something you can eat at a party is to volunteer to bring something (if it’s appropriate for the situation). This may not work for the catered company holiday party, but it definitely works at the family potluck. Take advantage of those opportunities.

For more holiday tips with braces, call Beverly Hills Braces in Beverly Hills, CA, at 310-693-5926. Dr. Sid Molayem and our team will be happy to help you.