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3 Quick Tips to Avoid Orthodontic Injuries This Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving dinner Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away, which means before you know it, you and your loved ones will be sitting at a table topped with an unimaginable amount of delicious food. From turkey to stuffing to yams to cranberry sauce to pumpkin pie and more, everyone has their particular item that they look forward to this time of year. Of course, for people with braces, Thanksgiving poses a few potential risks for damaging their appliance, which is a quick way to ruin even the best meal. Fortunately, your orthodontist in Powell has 3 simple tips to help people stay safe on Turkey Day.

Be Very Careful When Eating Anything With Bones

The image of someone carving the turkey at the head of the Thanksgiving table is extremely iconic, but many families also enjoy eating the wings and drumsticks straight off the bone. Unfortunately for people with braces, this means one errant bite into hard bone could easily dislodge a bracket or wire. Thankfully, these items don’t have to be avoided entirely. Orthodontic patients should simply take careful bites and chew slowly initially. That way, if the teeth encounter a bone or random piece of cartilage, it won’t accidentally damage the braces.

Make Sure to Wear a Mouthguard

For many families, Thanksgiving Day football is an essential part of the holiday, and in addition to watching the pros on TV, people often play their own games in their backyard. While these are usually very friendly, any sport where there is even the potential for contact can be dangerous for braces, whether it’s due to a tackle or flying pass. There are special mouthguards customized to comfortably fit over braces, and a patient should definitely wear one to keep their smile safe. If they don’t have one already, their orthodontist will be able to provide it.

Remember to Rinse

One of the biggest risks when it comes to Thanksgiving is cavities, and that’s because most people end up eating a lot of sweet treats and then passing out on the couch for the traditional nap. This allows the sugar from pies and sweet potato casserole to linger on the teeth and feed oral bacteria, which leads to the formation of dental plaque that can cause decay. Many end up snacking on leftovers for days afterward as well, continually bathing the teeth in sugar. Whether someone has braces or not, it’s important that they keep up their brushing and flossing during the holidays. And, for those with braces, they should at least rinse their mouth with water after every sweet snack because the brackets can easily trap food particles and sugar against the teeth.

Whether you’re organizing Thanksgiving this year or simply attending and enjoying the festivities, these simple tips will make sure an orthodontic emergency doesn’t spoil everyone’s fun. These are great to keep in mind for all the December holidays as well!

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is an award-winning orthodontist based in Powell, and he loves celebrating Thanksgiving with his wife and three boys. He wants his patients to enjoy the holiday as much as possible, so be sure to keep these tips in mind if you or your child has braces!  To learn more about taking care of braces, or to schedule a FREE consultation at Shirck Orthodontics, click here.