With Halloween and the holiday season rapidly approaching, you may be wondering if you can eat candy with braces or clear aligners. The truth is that you do not have to completely abstain, but you do need to be careful when choosing candy to eat. Our Orthodontist in Melbourne, FL has created a list of candy you can and cannot eat while straightening your teeth.
Candy and Traditional Braces
When you are straightening your teeth with traditional braces, whether they are traditional silver metal braces, or clear ceramic braces, you have to watch the types of candy you eat. You don’t want to eat hard candy or candy with nuts because you could break a wire or loosen a bracket, which would require emergency orthodontic treatment in order to repair the braces. You also want to avoid extremely chewy candy that can stick to your brackets, wires, and teeth. Our orthodontist recommends eating candy that primarily consists of dark chocolate due to its lower sugar content. Candies that are not hard or sticky are OK even if they are high in sugar, but it is important to brush right after you eat them.
Candy You Can Eat
When choosing candy to eat, try to choose candy with a lower sugar content, not only for your teeth, but also for your overall health. While it’s not always safe for people with braces to eat candy, try sticking to these instead:
- Plain Dark Chocolate Bars
- Plain Dark Chocolate Candy
- Peanut Butter Balls
- Chocolate with Soft Centers ( such as Reese’s peanut butter cups)
Candy You Should Avoid
Our dentist recommends avoiding candy that could potentially break your brackets and/or wires and candy that could become stuck in your braces. These include:
- All Hard Candy
- Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, Gumdrops
- Dried Fruit or Chewy Fruit-Like Candy
- Chewy caramels
- Nuts and Anything with Nuts
The Worst Candies For Your Teeth
Certain types of candies are worse for your teeth than others. Therefore, we still recommend avoiding extremely sticky, chewy candy and candy with high concentrations of sugar.
- Hard Candy, Like Jawbreakers and Mints
- Extremely Chewy Candy
Candy and Invisalign
When you are straightening your teeth with Invisalign clear aligning trays, you don’t have to worry about not eating certain candies and chocolates due to breaking your trays. However, you do have to worry about how often you eat candy and the amount of sugar in that candy. This is because you still have to remove your aligners to eat the candy, brush and floss your teeth after eating it, and put your clear aligning trays back over your teeth. Having the teeth coated in sugar with the trays in place is very dangerous and is likely to lead to cavities.
The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene
No matter which type of teeth straightening method you choose, you still have to brush and floss your teeth after eating the candy in order to remove all the sugar and candy bits from your teeth. If you fail to brush and floss your teeth while wearing braces, you could develop cavities around the outside edges of the brackets. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth before putting your clear aligning trays back in your mouth, you could end up bathing your teeth in sugar and bacteria for hours.
The Importance of Dental Checkups
Lastly, don’t forget your regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings with your general dentist, especially after Halloween. These are usually every six months. For braces, we see our patients about every six weeks for adjustments. For clear aligning trays, we recommend follow-ups every six to eight weeks. Even if orthodontic patients are being seen every six weeks, they still need to keep seeing their general dentist and having professional cleanings at least every six months.
To schedule an appointment to see if you’d be a good fit for braces or clear aligners in Melbourne, FL, give us a call at 321-254-5232.