Surviving Your First Holiday Season With Braces

Posted on: 9 December 2015

Just when you think you're getting used to your braces, the holiday season rolls around and presents a whole new array of challenges. In order to ensure the holidays don't lead to an emergency visit to your orthodontist (or just a lot of pain) follow these tips for surviving your first holiday season with braces.

Bring one of your favorite, braces-friendly dishes to each holiday gathering.

It can be tough to say "no" to delicious holiday sweet and dishes that are tough to eat with your braces on. In order to ensure you're not without enjoyable options at a holiday gathering, bring one of your favorite braces-friendly dishes along with you. Then, when you're tempted to reach for those seasoned nuts or chewy caramels, you can reach for your dish instead.

Make sure relatives know you can't have certain foods because of your braces.

When your Aunt Ida tempts you to try her crunchy peppermint bark after you've already said "no" three times, you might be tempted to give in just to appease her. When you turn down a dish that a family member offers you, make sure they know you're turning it down because of your braces. This way, they'll be less likely to keep pestering you until you give in and end up snapping your wires on a candy cane.

Don't open packaging with your teeth.

The holidays are a time of gift giving and receiving, and you'll probably receive a few items in plastic packaging. Your instinct may be to tear into these with your teeth when your fingers aren't up for the task – but this is a surefire way to break your braces. (It's not good for your teeth even when you don't have braces on!) Try carrying a small pair of scissors in your purse or wallet so you have them on hand when needed and are not tempted to open packages with your teeth.

Pack a tooth care kit to bring to holiday parties.

You don't want to have to interrupt your aunt to ask if she has a hand mirror you can use to pry that piece of chicken out of your braces, or have to make a late-night trip to the drugstore for braces wax. Pack a little bag of dental care essentials, including toothpaste, floss, extra rubber bands, wax, and a hand mirror, so you have these supplies on hand while at family gatherings.

For more information, talk to a dentist like Richard L. Myers, DDS.