How to Enjoy Thanksgiving While Having Orthodontic Treatments

How to Enjoy Thanksgiving While Having Orthodontic Treatments

Thanksgiving is coming up in a few days, and spending time with loved ones around the holiday table is the true meaning of this special time. However, when you wear an orthodontic device, you may feel additional stress about the foods you should eat. Follow these tips to enjoy many of the foods you’re used to consuming at Thanksgiving and future holidays as well!

Remember the Basics

On festive holidays, and in general, when you wear orthodontics it’s best to stay away from certain types of foods that could cause issues:

  • Try to avoid foods that are:
  • Crunchy and hard foods, as they tend to damage brackets and wires
  • Sticky foods because they stick to teeth and brackets

Choosing Appetizers

While the holiday meal is being prepared, guests usually arrive with an appetite. That’s where appetizers come in to curb hunger until every dish for the main meal is fully cooked, warmed, and ready to serve.

Select appetizers from this list of holiday favorites:

  • Bread and soft consistency dips
  • Cocktail weenies
  • Deviled eggs
  • Meatballs
  • Sliced meats

While the appetizers listed above are commonly found as appetizers to curb hunger, there are also some not-so-good choices you’ll want to skip.

Avoid these crunchy and hard appetizers:

  • Chips
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Potatoes
  • Raw vegetables
  • The Thanksgiving Meal

You’ll have plenty of main course food options from which to choose at Thanksgiving. Follow these tips on how to best enjoy these traditional food choices when you wear orthodontic appliances.

Ham, Turkey, and Other Meats

Slice meat off of the bone and then cut into small pieces. It’s best to stay away from shredded, stringy-like meats since they can get stuck between your teeth and your orthodontics.


Because stuffing is soft, it’s usually an excellent Thanksgiving side dish option. Inspect it first, though. Certain recipes add crunchy foods to the dish such as nuts and hard vegetables. Stay away from those types.


Cooked vegetables complete a Thanksgiving meal. Select vegetables that are cooked until tender. The soft texture is what to look for when in doubt.

Select from among these dinner side dish options:

  • Bread, muffins, and rolls
  • Casseroles with ingredients such as green beans and other soft vegetables
  • Corn kernels (if on the cob, scrape them off onto your plate)
  • Mashed potatoes with sour cream

Keep in mind, the general rules apply the vegetable side dishes. For example, with casseroles and bread, check that they don’t contain any nuts, sticky marshmallows, or crunchy ingredients. Those ingredients could damage your brackets, wires, or stick to your teeth.

Enjoying Dessert

You can eat delicious desserts when you wear orthodontic appliances. Follow these guidelines to select the safest options.


  • Bark candies and other crunchy sweets
  • Nuts
  • Sticky sweets including caramel


  • Cakes
  • Mousses
  • Pies
  • Puddings
  • Soft cookies

There’s nothing to be nervous about at Thanksgiving when you wear orthodontics. Matter of fact, you can follow these tips all year round. At Thanksgiving, focus on family and enjoy your holiday meal. When finished, brush your teeth and floss too. This way, you’ll keep dental issues from slowly developing. We’re here to help, so please contact Blalock Orthodontics if you’d like more recommendations or additional information.