Braces-Friendly Food

Orthodontist Approved Holiday Tips for Healthy Teeth

November 23rd, 2021

The holidays are quickly approaching, and unfortunately, your teeth are going to take the brunt of all the fun, food, and celebrations you are likely looking forward to experiencing with friends and family.

But don’t fret! We are here to help your dental and orthodontic health during the holidays so that you can start the new year with a healthy mouth and a happy smile.

Whether you’re a parent looking for tips with your kiddos or just hoping to take better care of your smile, here are our approved tips from Doctors Blair Struble and Erica Crosta for keeping your teeth healthy during the holidays.

Drink Heaps of Water

Along with those heaping portions of yummy food, treats, and beverages, don’t forget to drink extra water throughout the day this holiday season. There are many benefits for teeth, including keeping your mouth rinsed and decreasing the amount of food or sugar sitting on your teeth for long periods. But in addition to the dental benefits, drinking water helps keep your skin and body hydrated and full, which has its own advantages, like staying fueled with H20 so that you’re less likely to feel pressure to start the new year with a whole new diet, plus keeping your skin clear and blemish-free. It’s a holiday present on so many levels!

Eat Teeth-Cleaning Foods

As tempting as it is to sit around the chip-and-dip bowl all night, or eat all those Christmas cookies at the party, remember to also include the veggie tray on your plate as you circulate and have fun. Foods like carrots, celery, broccoli, and apples all help clean your teeth as you eat them so that you can minimize some of the damage the other treats will have.

Note: If you wear braces, make sure to eat these foods only if they are cut into small pieces. The health of your braces is also a consideration here!

And, don’t forget to include a few slices of cheese! While cheese doesn’t clean your teeth, it can help coat and protect them from other food-related-harms. Did you know that?! So pick the cheese and veggies over the dip this year. Your teeth will thank you!

Use the Proper Tools

It can be tempting to open that bag of candy or pull that tag off with your teeth. We urge you to please use the proper tools for opening or unwrapping all of that holiday goodness this year. Remember, teeth are not tools; they are there for eating, drinking, and flashing your lovely smile in oodles of photos you plan to take throughout your holiday season.

Keep Away from Sticky Treats

Especially if you have braces, make sure to stay away from sticky holiday treats. They are terrible for your teeth and can ruin your braces, which leads to a not-so-fun present during the season of festivities. Foods to avoid:

  • Candy canes
  • Taffy
  • Peanut brittle
  • Sticky brownies
  • Crunchy cookies
  • Popcorn

Keep Up Your Teeth Routine

Traveling to see family and friends or just staying busy during the holiday season inevitably takes a toll on your oral hygiene. While it may slide by the wayside on a few occasions, try your best to keep up with your daily oral care routine while traveling, hosting, or during any of the other fun activities you have planned.

An excellent way to keep up with your daily routine is to make sure you carry a dental travel kit with you in the car or your day bag. You can include your travel toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and mouthwash. The good news is that in addition to keeping your teeth healthy, your smile will shine brighter if you know your teeth look their best. Hooray!

Schedule Your Post-Holiday Check-Up

Orthodontic tips aside, you are likely to see some toll on your teeth after the new year. The best way to ensure your teeth are well maintained is to keep your routine dental and orthodontic visits up to date. Make sure to check your calendar to be sure you have that post-holiday visit on the books!

You can contact our office and get your next appointment on the books now.

Enjoy the Season!

Most of all, savor the moments and use these tips as a bonus to your festivities. We look forward to seeing you in the new year and hope you have a wonderful, fun, and safe holiday season.

How to Have Fun with Braces During Summer BBQ Season

June 28th, 2021

Image courtesy of Juniper Swim and Fitness

Heading into summer with braces can feel a bit daunting. All of your favorite things, campouts, BBQs, and weekend adventures, can lead to poor dental care, and a nightmare for your mouth!

But there are lots of ways to prepare for summer with braces, and still have a great time enjoying all of your favorite activities and food.

Let’s start with the foods you can absolutely enjoy this summer with braces.

  • Cheeses - Get excited! The cheese on your favorite charcuterie board is fair game. So you can enjoy your favorite soft or hard cheese all summer long!
  • Soft Meats - Not all meat off the BBQ is good for your braces, but as long as it is bite-sized, or can fall off the bone, you’re good to go.
  • Soft Cooked Foods - Anything from potato salad, to baked beans are A-okay to eat with braces on. So don’t skimp on the pasta salad this year!
  • Popsicles and Snow Cones - You can make your own popsicles super easily, for you and your family. You can also enjoy snow cones to your heart’s content! Just don’t forget to brush your teeth after.
  • Soft Bread and Lightweight Crackers - As long as the crackers are crumbly, and the bread is soft, it should be safe for your braces. Just tread lightly here.
  • Tender Fruits - Whether you put them in a fruit salad, or eat on their own, soft fruits like kiwis, melons, bananas, blueberries, and avocados (yes, they are fruit) are the perfect summer snack that won’t wreak havoc on your braces.
  • Cookies and Ice Cream - While not great for your teeth, most ice cream (without a cone), and soft cookies are safe for your braces. But proper tooth care is essential when consuming lots of sweets.

Of course, there are some BBQ foods you should avoid during the summer when you have braces. Here’s the shortlist:

  • Corn Chips, Pretzels, or Hard Crackers - One of the biggest enemies of braces, corn chips, pretzels, and some crackers can lead to broken wires and uncomfortable gums. Maybe opt for another chip this summer, so you can enjoy yourself and not end up in our office for an unscheduled visit.
  • Corn on the Cob - We know, it’s hard to say no to corn on the cob -- especially during the summer months, but it’s one of the worst foods for your braces. But don’t fret! Just cut the corn kernels off the cob, and add to salad, or eat on their own!
  • Vegetable Platters - A BBQ favorite is the platter of raw vegetables with some yummy dipping sauce, but you can quickly damage your archwires and brackets. To get those veggies into your diet this summer, either try cutting them into small pieces first or cooking your veggies on the BBQ.
  • Meat that’s Firm - Most ribs, ribeyes, and other tough meats are off-limits. If it seems stringy, or tough, just say no thank you.

In addition to food, there are those summer activities that are oh-so-fun but can lead to poor care of your teeth and braces during the summer months. Here are a few final tips for keeping your mouth and orthodontist happy while you are out adventuring!

Keep your floss and toothbrush with you - Whether you put a spare in your car, in your purse, or in your backpack, keep some floss handy, as well as an extra toothbrush and travel toothpaste. This way you can keep up with your care even in the event of the unexpected.

All of these considerations will help as you launch into your summer plans. Enjoy and we’ll see you at the grill!

If you have any questions, or concerns about your summer diet or activities, please feel free to reach out to us at 541-848-6642.

5 Foods to Avoid with Braces

April 28th, 2017

Life with braces isn’t drastically different than life without them. However, there are a few food items you will need to say a temporary goodbye to eating. Certain foods can do serious damage to your braces and create unnecessary trips to the orthodontist's office to fix broken brackets or loose wires. But don’t panic! The list of foods you can eat heavily outweighs the list you should avoid.

The first week with braces can be the most uncomfortable. While your teeth are adjusting to the new hardware in your mouth, your diet will mainly consist of only soft foods for a few days. After the initial adjustment period has passed, you can begin eating “regular” food again--with the exception of a few things. Here are five of the top braces-damaging food culprits that you should take caution towards while you have braces.

Sticky and Hard Candies

First off, you’ll need to say “so long” to caramels, taffy, and gummy-anything candies! Soft and chewy candies like these can cause the brackets and wires on your braces to slowly become loose and wobbly, disrupting the dental correction process. If hard candies like jolly ranchers or jawbreakers are your weakness, be ready to cut those out as well. Pieces of hard candies can get lodged in between the brackets and your teeth, and, even worse, they can completely break a bracket. Just look at it as taking a short, healthy break from sugar!

Hard Snacks

Crunchy snacks like popcorn, corn chips, pretzels, hard crusts, and crackers are tasty, but can bring on quite a battle with your braces. Imagine sitting down in a movie theater with a bag of popcorn and suddenly a bracket from one of your braces pops off from the hard kernel you just chomped down on! Not only do you miss out on finishing your bag of popcorn and movie, but now you’ll need to make a trip to the orthodontist. A good alternative for all you popcorn lovers is Pirate's Booty-very similar to popcorn, but without kernels that can embed in gum tissues and unpopped kernels that can debond brackets.

Chewing Gum

This one may go without saying, but we couldn't leave chewing gum off the list. Aside from the issue of it getting stuck in your braces, chewing gum can also bend the wires out of shape. This disrupts and prolongs the dental correction process. Bent wire = no straight teeth. So if you really love the minty fresh breath that gum provides, try something new and go with a mint--it will give you the fresh breath, but without the harm to your teeth!

Jerky and Nuts

Thick jerkies and nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and macadamia nuts are not your friends when you have braces. Eating beef jerky can loosen the wires and brackets of your braces because it is so tough to eat. Same goes for eating most kinds of nuts. Nuts are very hard and small, two challenging things to eat with braces. If you are a nut lover, try getting your fix through a nut butter or spread. That way you can get the taste and nutrients from the nuts, but without doing damage to your brackets or wires!

Raw, Hard Fruits and Vegetables

Although they’re high in nutritional value, eating raw fruits and vegetables can be complicated with braces. Biting into a crunchy apple is challenging enough without brackets and wires on your teeth. This isn’t to say you should cut out raw fruits and vegetables from your diet, but they are going to require a little extra preparation while you have braces. Try cutting fruits like apples and pears into small, bite-sized chunks for a grab and go snack. If you love eating carrots and corn on the cob, cut and cook the carrots and cut the corn kernels off the cob before eating. And if you think these extra steps are just too much, there is always the option to drink your fruits and veggies by using a juicer. Yes, just because you have braces doesn’t mean you get to skip out on eating your fruits and veggies!

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In the end, the list of foods you should avoid eating isn’t very long, and your body will thank you for cutting them out in the end. Having straight and beautiful teeth will make giving up these foods worth it! If you do end up damaging your braces, we’re here for you. And don’t worry--we won’t say, “We told you so!”

Call us at (541) 848-6642 to schedule an appointment.

Easy “Orthodontist-Approved” Holiday Recipes

November 28th, 2016

‘Tis the season for festive meals with family and friends--and the delicious food that comes with it! But for some of our orthodontic patients, figuring out what they can and can’t eat this time of year can be a difficult task. Not to worry! The American Association of Orthodontists has put together a list of holiday recipes that are sure to keep both your teeth and your stomach happy.

“Orthodontists are often asked by patients of all ages about what’s ‘safe’ to eat during their treatment,” says Morris N. Poole, DDS, president of the AAO. “We are pleased to offer these ‘orthodontist approved’ recipes for everyone to enjoy.”

Read on for recipes for the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Asparagus and Prosciutto Puff Pastry Christmas Wreath, and Chanukah Gelt Wontons.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

8 8-ounce servings

  • 1-15 ounce can of pure pumpkin
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar, or more if you like it sweeter
  • ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup ice
  • Whipped cream and crumbled graham crackers for topping
  1. Combine pumpkin, milk, half and half, yogurt, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in blender. Blend until mixture is smooth. Add ice and blend again.
  2. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and crumbled graham crackers.

Asparagus and Prosciutto Puff Pastry Christmas Wreath

12-24 servings

  • 1 box of puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 12 medium thick stalks of asparagus, woody part of the stems removed
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash
  • Red bell pepper for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Unfold the puff pastry sheets and cut each one into 12 squares.
  3. Wrap each asparagus stalk with a slice of prosciutto and cut in half crosswise.
  4. Place each prosciutto wrapped asparagus piece on top of a puff pastry square, diagonally, and roll up.
  5. Place 12 on each baking sheet and brush with egg wash.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.
  7. On a round serving platter, place the puffs in a wreath shape and serve while warm. Cut red bell pepper into pieces to make a bow and use as garnish if desired.

Chanukah Gelt Wontons

Makes 12

  • 24 round wonton wrappers
  • 12 large chocolate coins (1 ½”)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ cup cinnamon sugar

  1. Lay out 12 of the wonton wrappers on a clean work surface.
  2. Unwrap the chocolate coins and place one in the center of each wonton wrapper.
  3. Lightly brush the edges of each wonton wrapper with water and place another wonton wrapper on top, pressing the edges to seal in the chocolate coin.
  4. Place butter and canola oil into a large frying pan and melt on medium heat.
  5. Fry each wonton for 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Place the cinnamon sugar in a shallow bowl and dip both side of the wonton until coated.
  7. Let cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

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We wish you a happy holidays from everyone at Struble Orthodontics! If you have questions or need recommendations about what to eat over the holidays with braces, feel free to contact us.

400 SW Bond St #300, Bend, OR 97702
3818 SW 21st St Suite 102, Redmond, OR 97756
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