The end of October is approaching and that means yummy goodies and spooky costumes! With halloween coming up, people are stocking up on candy and sweet treats for trick or treaters. The spookiest thing about halloween for orthodontists is the damage that those delicious treats have on braces. It is easy to get wrapped up in the spirit of the holiday and to use it as an excuse to bend the rules a bit, but keep in mind that braces are there for a reason. If not cared for properly, treatment time may have to be extended. If brackets or wires are broken or moved, it could be painful for the braces wearer and cause damage to the inside of cheeks. A shorter, painless amount of time with braces is worth far more than a few sugary halloween treats.
We know that what foods and snacks are safe and unsafe for braces is gone over at the time of placement, but a little reminder never hurt. Keep this in mind when looking through your candy bag after trick-or-treating. Here is a list of some of the worst treats you can munch on while wearing braces and a list of the best:
The sticky consistency of caramel can stick to brackets and pull them off of teeth. Although delicious, avoid caramel candy as much as possible. Certain kinds of candy that have small amounts of caramel inside such as snickers or twix are not as dangerous as mostly caramel candies such as rolo’s or bullseye’s so use your best judgment and do not force any chewing.
As you know, gum is one of the biggest no’s for braces and this shouldn’t change just because of the holiday. Lollipops with gum centers are the biggest problems when it comes to accidentally eating gum on halloween. So be careful when choosing which candy to eat.
Fruity gummy textured sweets can have the same effect on braces as caramels. The material can wrap around brackets and pull them off while you chew. Candies like laffy taffy, airheads, and starburst are not friendly to your braces. Licorice is especially unforgiving on dental work because of the gummy texture and the pulling motion that typically comes with eating it.
Candies Containing Large Quantities of Nuts
Some candy that is heavy in the nut department should not be consumed by braces wearers. Paydays, Babe Ruth, and Almond Joys are not great options because the chunks can get stuck between brackets and cause damage.
Peanut Butter Cups
These are a great option because they do not require a lot of chewing and have a very soft texture. If you are looking for a nutty flavor and steering clear of candy that can detrimental to braces, peanut butter cups are your best option.
Chocolate of any kind that does not have any hard or sticky qualities about it are great for braces wearers. Hershey’s bars, M&M’s, Milky Way’s, and Kit Kat’s are generally harmless to braces and should be able to do the trick on those chocolate cravings.
Cookies or Brownies
Soft, baked goods are usually a very safe bet as far as sweet holiday treats go. As long as there are no nuts or toffee chunks, these items are generally not able to get caught in braces or disrupt your orthodontics at all.
We understand that it is not convenient or the most fun to be limited as far as candy intake during halloween. Just remember that you won’t have your braces on forever. All of the sweet treats in the “worst” category will still be there when you get your braces off and will taste even better when they are also guilt free. Work out a deal with siblings and friends who do not have braces to make halloween candy trades. Let them have the gummy, crunchy, and sticky treats in exchange for the less damaging ones. Your braces will thank you!