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Winter is here and the holidays are right around the corner. At Graber Orthodontics, we have all the tools and tricks you need to make your smile shine bright for this coming new year!

Holidays and New Years parties mean lots of fun and festive foods to choose from. There are lots of foods to enjoy–especially for those of us who do not have to count calories! When sitting down to the dinner table, load your plate with more easily eaten foods like turkey, ham, brisket, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, cornbread, soft rolls, cakes and pie. For anybody who has fixed braces, it is best to avoid crunchy and sticky foods such as hard bread or pizza crust, corn on the cob, caramels, hard candy, or nuts. Remember to remove any meat from the bone to avoid hitting against braces. Avoid tearing into food with your front teeth and chew in the back of your mouth to avoid damaging fixed braces. Good oral hygiene does not get a “break” over winter break even though we might be eating more often. Continue to brush and floss after meals—especially with foods that have a lot of holiday sugar.

If you have fixed braces and will be out of town for the holidays, pack extra wax in case of emergencies. We have scented wax available in both the Glenview and Vernon Hills offices, as well as toothbrushes and travel toothpaste. If you wear retainers or aligners, remember to bring an extra retainer case when traveling or heading out to an event. Don’t take the chance of losing your retainers or aligners because you wrapped them in a napkin and they were thrown away!

Holidays are also a great opportunity to “dress up” your smile with colored ties and elastics for braces. Fun combinations like red & green, silver & gold, and blue & white will have your smile matching your favorite holiday outfit.

Most importantly, don’t forget to show off your Graber Grin! Whether your smile is a work-in-progress or a final result, show off all the hard work you put in to achieve your best and brightest smile!

From Drs. Lee and Katie Graber, Dr. Kelley Gyllenhaal, and the entire Graber-Gyllenhaal Team, we wish all of our patients, friends, and family a wonderful holiday season and best wishes for a healthy and happy 2018!