Posted on November 30, 2018
Encino is filled with lush gardens and breezy parks year round. If you’re planning on having a picnic, our little city is the perfect place to do it. For orthodontic patients, we understand it can be difficult to keep track of all your dietary restrictions when you’re going out. Since we also love enjoying time outdoors, we’ve compiled a list of braces-friendly foods that are also super portable and easy to eat.
If you’re going on a picnic, there’s bound to plenty of physical activity involved, whether it’s playing with your dog, climbing trees, or going on a hike afterward. You’ll need plenty of sustenance to give you energy for the rest of the day. Consider bringing 2 or even 3 options for your main course. Here are our suggestions for a fulfilling lunch in the park:
Sometimes, eating food can cause wires and brackets can move into uncomfortable positions. If this is the case, ask your orthodontist to adjust or cut your wires at your next appointment. You can also use orthodontic wax to soften the edges of your braces as you eat. Since the wax is made of natural materials like beeswax, carnauba wax, or paraffin wax, they’re completely safe to ingest. That’s not to say you should be eating your orthodontic wax, but if you accidentally swallow it, you’ll be fine.
Normally, we would bring portable snacks like apples and potato chips for sides at a picnic. Unfortunately, these foods are not so braces-friendly, but there are still plenty of tasty snacks you can pack for your picnic in the park.
For dessert, patients with braces should watch out for any items that are too sticky, chewy, or crunchy. Brackets and wires aren’t indestructible and any damage to them can delay the orthodontic process for weeks. Instead of munching on crunchy cookies or chewy taffy, there are tons of other braces-friendly desserts you can bring on your picnic. Here are a few:
After you finish your dessert, make sure to brush your teeth in the park bathroom afterward. This will remove any food debris leftover from your meal. This is important because bacteria can feed off food particles and create enamel-eroding acid. If you don’t have a sink or toothbrush, use mouthwash or rinse your mouth with water.
Sweet or carbonated drinks can leave behind sugary residue on the braces and teeth, resulting in tooth decay and cavities. Highly pigmented drinks, like wine, coffee, and tea, can also stain the teeth beneath the braces where it’s difficult to clean. Orthodontists recommend avoiding any drinks that aren’t water if you have braces. However, we understand that this can be quite difficult to do. It’s okay to have beverages other than water once in a while as long as you are careful to use a straw or brush afterward.
For patients who reside outside of Encino or are new residents to the area, we’d like to share our favorite picnic areas in the city with you. Since cities in Los Angeles are so densely populated, it can be difficult to get some peace in nature. Stop by the following parks if you have the chance:
16953 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316
Located right down the hubbub of the Encino Commons, Encino Park is a wonderful place to spend time relaxing. It’s a small park complete with barbecue pits, picnic tables, lighted outdoor basketball courts, and a children’s play area.
Los Encinos State Historic Park
16756 Moorpark St, Encino, CA 91436
This park is just down the street from Encino Park, northeast of the intersection of Balboa and Ventura Boulevards. Not only are the grassy, spacious areas for picnic-ing, the park also features an original eight-room de la Ossa Adobe, the Garnier building, a natural spring, and a pond. It’s a beautiful representation of the history and culture in Encino that we love visiting!
If you plan to stop by, take the 101 Freeway to the Balboa off-ramp. Head south on Balboa until Moorpark Street. Then, take a left turn until you see the park on the right.
5101 Libbit Ave, Los Angeles, CA 91436
If you have dogs, Libbit Park is a fun place to take them for a walk of to play fetch. It’s an open field with plenty of poop bags and toys available for the public. However, it’s important to keep your dog on a leash unless he or she is trained well enough to stay put. Libbit Park has no gates or fences to keep pets from running amok in Encino. There’s also a small pond where you can watch and feed ducks. To get there, take the 101 freeway and exit Havenhurst Avenue.
Sepulveda Basin Off Leash Dog Park
17550 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91406
Nearby, there is an official dog park in the Sepulveda Basin Community Garden Center. The park includes pooper scoopers, water stations, balls, and an agility course for dogs to play around off leash. If you want your pet to get some exercise and social interaction, this is the perfect place to take them. There are also plenty of garbage cans, so if you plan to picnic, you can easily toss your trash in the designated bins.
Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve
6350 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406
Though this technically isn’t a park, the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve is filled with gorgeous trees, shrubs, plants, and creatures. It’s a lovely place to take a stroll and there is plenty of area to picnic. Make sure you don’t feed the wildlife and clean up after yourself when you’re done with your picnic. There are strict rules about such behavior because the ecosystem is very sensitive to changes.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to picnics in Encino. If you are ever in the area for an orthodontic appointment or otherwise, we highly encourage our patients to explore the city! There are also tons of yummy ice cream and frozen yogurt spots in Encino to drop by after your picnic for a sweet treat. At Orthodontics LA in Encino, we want our patients to have a positive experience with their braces. Other than a few dietary restrictions, safety precautions, and extra dental hygiene, there’s no reason to let braces stop anyone from doing what they love! Let us know if you have any questions about your braces; we’re here to help!