family on thanksgiving with braces

8 tips for navigating Thanksgiving with braces or Invisalign

Turkey, stuffing, and pie oh-my, it’s almost Thanksgiving time! As we get closer and closer to the start of the holiday season, things are cooling down (as much as they do for Florida) and the ovens are heating up! Whether you’re new to orthodontic treatment or coming up on the end of your time in braces or Invisalign®, you may be wondering: “how can I enjoy Thanksgiving without throwing my treatment off track?”

We’ve got just the tips just for you! Here’s 8 practical ways you can enjoy a delicious and festive Thanksgiving while in orthodontic treatment.

1. Practice mindful munching

When most people think of Thanksgiving, the first word that comes to mind is “food”! You may have even jokingly referred to Thanksgiving as a holiday dedicated to food. If you’re worried you may miss out on some of your favorite dishes this year, we’re here to tell you don’t have to. While those in braces should go for softer options like mashed potatoes, stuffing, and slices of turkey (no bones); those rocking Invisalign can simply remove their aligners before indulging. Just remember to brush your teeth after meals and snacks no matter the type of smile style you choose for treatment. For Invisalign wearers, keep in mind your 20 to 22 hours a day wear rule.

2. Avoid sticky situations

Always consult your braces food list before reaching for those gooey festive treats like pecan pie or roasted chestnuts. These can cause damage to brackets and wires, leaving you scheduling an emergency orthodontic appointment right in the middle of your vacation. If you’ve chosen Invisalign, be sure to remove your aligners before digging in to keep your aligners in tip-top shape.

3. Drink plenty of water

With Thanksgiving often comes sweet and hot beverages like apple cider or hot cocoa. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to remove your aligners before sipping as the heat can warp your aligners. Try to opt for water with every meal in addition to your festive beverage as this will keep you hydrated and help dislodge food particles.

4. Pack a braces or Invisalign travel kit

Having a dedicated travel kit for your Invisalign care is going to make packing and the holiday rush, easy as pie. Bring a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, a travel-size mouthwash, a compact mirror, and Invisalign Cleaning Crystals. You’ll be able to keep your budding smile free of plaque no matter where you go.

5. Bring soothing essentials

For braces wearers, you may be in discomfort during your holiday, especially if you’ve just had an adjustment or start having an issue with a poking wire. Pack plenty of orthodontic wax and Tylenol to help get you through those first few days. For those in Invisalign treatment, pack some Tylenol and plenty of Invisalign Chewies just in case you’re switching to a new tray and experience some soreness or a fitting issue.

6. Make a meal game-plan!

Whether you’re in braces or Invisalign, planning out your Thanksgiving feast can help you get pumped up and maximize the amount of scrumptious foods you’ll enjoy. For braces wearers, consult your food list and compare with the dishes family and friends have brought. When in doubt, opt for softer foods.

For Invisalign wearers, fill your plate with all your favorite foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

7. Practice gratitude and patience

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude and spending time with loved ones. Your orthodontic treatment is a journey so it’s important to focus on the progress you’ve made. Depending on your personalized treatment plan, you may only have to forgo some of your favorite Thanksgiving foods twice. Or if you’re deciding between treatment options and want to enjoy all the holiday treats, our doctors recommend choosing Invisalign treatment!

8. Consult your orthodontist

Worried about your upcoming Thanksgiving plans affecting your treatment? Keep your upcoming appointments in mind while you plan out your vacations and give us a call ASAP if there’s a conflict. The Insoft & Hurst Team is here to support you throughout your treatment.

Still have questions about enjoying Thanksgiving in orthodontic treatment?

This Thanksgiving, the Insoft & Hurst Team wants to celebrate YOU. We’re grateful for all our patients and families and want everyone to experience a delicious and fun holiday. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions before your trip!

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Seminole or St Pete, come meet our amazing team! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.

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