Taking care of braces during the holidays

As we head into the holidays, we have a few important reminders for our patients and their families. We know you are ready for the year-end break; just be sure breakage doesn’t apply to your braces. With tempting holiday treats everywhere, be sure to remember the acronym CRUSH to help you know the foods to avoid that could cause a problem for your braces. CRUSH reminds us to avoid foods that are Crunchy, Rubbery, Unknown, Sticky, or Hard.  

But not to worry, there are many fun foods on the yes list including:  

  • Rice Krispie treats
  • Chocolate
  • Pizza (use a knife and fork)
  • Popcorn (but not the kernels)

On the other hand, here are examples of typical holiday foods on the CRUSH list:

  • Peanut brittle
  • Starlight mints and other hard candies
  • Whole apples — if you do eat apples be sure to cut them into sections, NEVER bite into a whole apple
  • Candied fruit (you have the perfect excuse to decline fruitcake because your orthodontist says it’s too sticky.)

In addition to remembering the CRUSH list, be sure you continue good oral hygiene habits while on break. Enjoy your rest but do not slack on brushing, flossing, and keeping those rubber bands in place. If traveling, don’t forget to bring your gear with you: flossers, wax, retainers (in their case when not in your mouth). Brush twice a day (or more often as needed) and wear rubber bands consistently.

Thanks to advances in bonding materials, we have fewer breakages than we have in years past but accidents still happen. If you experience any problems or are in pain please give us a call (901-756-4316). Even if the office is closed, we check messages for emergencies and we can call you back and talk you through solutions.

So remember to stay away from the Crunchy, Rubbery, Unknown, Sticky, or Hard foods, keep up with caring for your teeth, gums, and braces, and carefully enjoy the safe foods you love this holiday. We are here if you have any questions.  

Jill Piper