How to Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner While Wearing Braces

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and you know what that means: spending time with loved ones while sharing a delicious meal. As much as you want to enjoy this great vacation, some orthodontic appliances, i.e., braces, may stand in your way. We recognize that certain meals, including any sticky and hard foods, are off-limits if you have braces. If you’re wondering about how you’ll get through that lavish Thanksgiving dinner, the Texas Association of Orthodontists has put together some pointers to help. 

For Starters

Appetizers should keep your taste receptors active while you wait for the main entrée. If you have braces, you should be picky about the appetizers you eat. Fortunately, there are a infinite number of possibilities. Soft dips with bread and cheese, meatballs, deviled eggs, and cocktail weenies are among them. Avoid crunchy items like raw vegetables, nuts, and popcorn since they can damage your orthodontic appliances and teeth.

Main Course

What is Thanksgiving without a well-balanced and well-prepared main course? The good news is that many of these foods are braces-friendly. Your orthodontic appliances are protected by:

  • Soft meats, ham, and turkey- soft cuts of Turkey and ham are safe for both your teeth and your braces. Avoid meat with stringy bits, which can yank your brackets and wires out. Before chewing, make sure the meat is separated from the bone and chopped into little pieces.
  • Bread- soft bread is safe for your teeth and braces. To avoid harming your braces, make sure your bread has no nuts.
  • Stuffing- most stuffing is soft and excellent for persons who wear braces. Before you dig in, check to see if the stuffing in the buffet has crunchy components like walnuts and pecans. Crunchy foods might cause damage to your teeth and orthodontic gear.
  • Casseroles- Casseroles are delicious foods that are suitable for everyone. Most recipes make sure that casseroles are healthy and tender. Stew meals with green beans and sweet potatoes are an option. Your orthodontic appliances will be fine as long as they do not contain marshmallows.

As previously said, avoid raw veggies and crisp fruits. You might use cooked vegetables because they have a soft feel. Potatoes in creamy, mashed, and fluffy varieties are available. You might also want to keep that corn cob away, no matter how good it appears. If you can’t stop yourself from eating the corn, try removing the kernels from the cob first (tip: you can cut the kernels from the cob with a knife, so you can still enjoy them without jeopardizing your braces!)


Soft pastries, such as cakes, pies, and cookies, are excellent choices if they do not contain caramel, nuts, or are too crunchy. Desserts such as puddings, Jell-O, and mousses are wonderful choices. Sticky candies, caramel, and crunchy sweets should be avoided since they might harm and pull your braces apart.

Just because you have braces doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the Thanksgiving festivities. However, it is critical to maintain good dental hygiene by brushing and flossing after each meal. This should keep dental cavities and white spots at bay, while also preventing other oral problems from arising. If you have any further questions, please see your Texas Orthodontic Specialist today!