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Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid If You Have Braces

Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid If You Have Braces

If you’re sporting braces this Thanksgiving, you may be wondering what foods you should avoid. After all, you don’t want to damage your braces or end up with food stuck in them. Plus, getting food stuck in your braces can be irritating. So to help you enjoy a braces-friendly Thanksgiving meal, we’ve compiled a list of foods to steer clear of.

Here are the top Thanksgiving foods to avoid if you’re wearing braces.

Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid If You Have Braces

Sticky Desserts

Toffee, candy apples, and caramel are all delicious, but they can be dangerous for braces. The sticky nature of these desserts can cause brackets to come loose and wires to bend out of shape. With candy, the risk is even greater. If you must have dessert, opt for something that isn’t sticky, like fruit salad or Jell-O.

Cake and soft pies are acceptable, just be sure to brush your teeth afterward.


Corn on the Cob

Although corn on the cob is a Thanksgiving staple, it can be difficult to eat with braces. The best way to eat corn is to cut it off the cob before eating it. This will make it easier to chew and less likely to get stuck in your braces. Or, if you can, opt for canned corn that is already ready to eat.

If you choose to eat corn on the cob, do so carefully and avoid biting down on it.


Nuts and Popcorn

Like corn kernels, nuts and popcorn can get caught in braces and cause serious damage. They’re also hard to chew, which can be painful if you have sensitive teeth. Furthermore, some nuts, like almonds, leave debris that can attract plaque.

To avoid these problems, it’s best to stay away from nuts and popcorn altogether. If you must have nuts in your Thanksgiving feast, chop them into small pieces or leave them out entirely.


Crunchy Vegetables

While eating your veggies is important, some of them can be tough on braces. Raw carrots, celery, and broccoli are all hard to bite into and can cause damage to braces. Biting down too hard can loosen brackets and bend wires. It can also be uncomfortable, and chewing can be difficult.

To make these veggies braces-friendly, cook them until they’re soft.


Foods You Can Enjoy

Although it seems like there’s a lot you can’t eat with braces, there are still braces-friendly foods.

Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and casseroles are all great options. And for dessert, you can enjoy pumpkin pie, applesauce, or ice cream. Just be sure to avoid sticky, crunchy, and hard foods to prevent damage to your braces.



With a little planning, you can enjoy a delicious and braces-friendly Thanksgiving meal. Just be sure to avoid sticky desserts, corn on the cob, nuts, and crunchy vegetables. And enjoy plenty of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and casseroles instead.

If you have any questions about which foods to avoid or how to care for your braces, reach out to Dr. Yazji. She’ll be happy to help you enjoy a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

About the Author Maria Yazji