Dudley Smiles Thanksgiving Recipes

November is here, and now that Halloween is out of the way, we’re ready to get down to business with our Thanksgiving planning! We want our patients to have a wonderful holiday as well, one full of family, friends, and of course, delicious food.

Dudley Smiles understands how hard it can be to cut back on sweets and other traditional dishes you may love because you’re in braces, but you don’t have to sacrifice all your favorite Thanksgiving treats! Our team has put together a few tips to help keep your holiday braces-friendly, and we’ve also compiled a handful of recipes we love that are easy on the teeth, and on the taste buds, too!

 Thanksgiving foods to indulge in

When it comes to maintaining and protecting your braces, the following foods are safe to pile on your plate:

Turkey, ham, or chicken will keep your braces in good condition as long as you’re not eating meat directly off the bone.

Mashed potatoes, dressing or stuffing, cornbread, steamed vegetables, and classics like green bean or sweet potato casseroles are great choices since they’re soft and easy on your teeth.

Pies like pumpkin and sweet potato are the kind of desserts you can definitely indulge in, as long as there are no crunchy pieces or nuts. Remember, any sweets should be consumed in moderation, braces-friendly or not!

 Thanksgiving foods to pass on

Skip the salad stuff that isn’t actual salad. Hard croutons, nuts, or crunchy crusts can wreak havoc on your brackets.

Pay close attention to any fresh fruits or vegetables. Raw carrots and apples are a little too crunchy for comfort, and corn on the cob can be a problem, too (although it’s fine if you cut the kernels off and eat them that way!)

Leave sticky desserts on the table. Anything with caramel or toffee can cause issues with your braces.

Whatever you’re eating around the table or in your living room, make sure you practice basic braces care by brushing your teeth after every meal, and flossing at least once a day!

 Braces-friendly recipes for your whole family to enjoy

What is Thanksgiving without fancy ham or turkey? Celina’s Ham is succulent and sweet, and so easy to pull together!


1 whole ham

1 cup orange juice

½ cup honey, heated up and mixed with the orange juice


Preheat oven to 350F.

Rinse ham off, place in large roaster pan and pour liquid mixture over it.

Cover with aluminum.

Cook 30 minutes for every ½ lb. For example, a 4 lb ham would cook for 2-2 ½ hours.

At the 45 minute mark, baste the ham with the juices and then continue cooking.


spinach balls with a wooden spoon and rolling pinThere’s nothing like a recipe that’s been passed down through the family. These Spinach Balls are amazing appetizers and come straight from Dr. Si’s mom.


2 10 oz. packages of frozen spinach

2 cups breadcrumbs, plain, or Italian style for a little more zest!

1 generous cup of grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup butter, melted

4 eggs, lightly beaten

Pinch of salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix spinach, bread crumbs, cheese, butter, eggs, and salt and pepper.

With your hands, shape the balls into 1-inch balls (or a little smaller if you prefer them crispier)

Use parchment paper or lightly grease a large baking sheet, then place balls on it in a single layer.

Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. If you want them on the crispier side, you can keep them in for up to 20 minutes, just keep checking to be sure they don’t have the chance to burn!

Let balls cool out of the oven for a few minutes before serving, then see how quickly they disappear.


Jello is such a simple treat, especially great for those in braces. Linda’s Strawberry Jello Salad gets a little kick from strawberries and pineapple, and a surprising tangy twist in the form of sour cream!


2 3oz. packs of Strawberry Jello

1 package plain gelatin

1 cup boiling water

2 10 oz frozen strawberries, thawed

1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained

3 medium bananas, mashed

1 pint sour cream


In a large bowl, combine the Jello with the gelatin. Add hot water and mix until well dissolved.

Fold all the fruit into the Jello mix. Stir until blended.

Pour half the mixture into a 12”x8”x2” pan and refrigerate until set.

Once set, spread the sour cream evenly over the layer.

Pour the remaining mixture over the sour cream, and refrigerate until set.

Once entire pan is set, cut enter squares and serve.


Nothing says the holidays are here like sweet potato side dishes, and Maria’s scrumptious Sweet Potato Bake is the perfect way to celebrate the season.


5 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

½ cup half and half

½ cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

¾ tsp salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

½ cup all purpose flour

½ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces


Preheat oven to 375F.

Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Combine half and half, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and egg in a large bowl, stir with a whisk.

Add potato to liquid mixture, beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Spoon potato mixture into a lightly greased 9×13 pan.

For topping, combine flour and sugar. Add butter and combine until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over potato mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until the topping is lightly browned and potatoes are completely done.

Happy Thanksgiving from Dudley Smiles

Happy Thanksgiving graphicWherever you are and whoever you choose to spend this Thanksgiving holiday with, we hope you know how thankful we are for you. May your day be full of laughter, love, and pants with adjustable waistbands! We’ll see you back on the blog just in time to start for planning for Christmas!


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