The Do’s & Don’ts of Halloween Candy With Braces
It’s late October and that means changing weather, all things pumpkin spice, and, of course, Halloween. So, this usually also means a few days full of candy and other sugary foods and drinks. But, if you have braces (or another type of orthodontic appliance), you may be wondering if you can still eat Halloween candy?
Technically, the answer is yes and no. The better question is what candy can you eat with braces? The good thing is, not all sweet treats are off the table. But there are definitely certain kinds that are much better than others and some that should definitely be avoided.
In this article, we’ll cover what you need to know to ensure you still get to enjoy the holiday, while also ensuring you make good choices that will help protect your braces and keep your gums and teeth healthy.
What Halloween Candy & Treats to Avoid
The last thing you want to do is spend a few minutes enjoying a candy or other Halloween treat just to end up with something stuck in your braces or even worse a broken bracket. Damage like this to your braces can mean not only uncomfortability and an extra trip to your orthodontist’s office but also a longer treatment time.
So, to ensure this doesn’t happen to you or your child, here are the things to avoid with braces:
- Candy corn
- Other chewy candies (gummy candy, Snickers, Twix, etc.)
- Rice Krispy treats
- Hard candies (Jollyrancher, etc.)
- Crunchy candy (Pop Rocks, chocolates with nuts, etc.)
- Whole caramel or chocolate apples
It’s also important to note that care should be taken when it comes to sugary drinks as well. Things like apple cider, hot chocolate, soda, sweet tea, etc all have added sugar. When consumed frequently without proper oral hygiene afterward, this sugar can lead to decalcification (white spots) around the brackets on your teeth.
(Halloween candy to avoid with braces.)
Braces-Friendly Sweets for Halloween
At this point, it may feel like there is not much left to choose from that is safe to eat or drink with braces. But there’s actually quite a lot. The best thing to keep in mind is that soft and/or melt in your mouth things are going to be your best bet when it comes to protecting your braces.
Some braces-friendly options include:
- Chocolate – Not all chocolate is off-limits! The most important thing to avoid is chocolate that also has caramel, toffee, or nuts. Softer chocolate, like milk or white chocolate, is totally safe to eat with braces. Hershey’s kisses, Kit Kat bars, mint chocolates, etc are totally fine. Though you should avoid dark chocolate. It is a healthier option but it is too hard of a chocolate to eat braces.
- Marshmallows – These soft, fluffy treats make for a great option with braces. Though they do have a high sugar content (see below for after sugar care), they will not damage orthodontic appliances. Roast them over a fire for an even better version.
- Peanut butter cups – Yes, this favorite sweet treat is braces-friendly! Reese’s and other brands of peanut butter cups are soft and don’t contain anything that could get stuck in your braces.
- Soft baked cookies: Most soft baked goods are safe for braces and other orthodontic appliances. Just make sure to check any homemade items and avoid anything with nuts or hard candies on top.
- Ice cream – Even though it may be cooler outside, ice cream can still be a good option for a Halloween-time treat. As with other items, just make sure to go with flavors that do not have nuts, caramel, or hard candies mixed in and you’ll be fine.
- Apple slices – As mentioned above, you want to avoid whole apples, but apple slices can be dressed up and still make a healthier braces-friendly option. Try dipping the apple slices in melted caramel or chocolate.
Keep Your Teeth & Gums in Good Shape During Halloween
Even though there are some great treats you can eat with braces, they all do have quite a bit of sugar. You don’t want excess sugar building up on your teeth and causing cavities or gingivitis, especially in hard-to-reach places.
So, it is also very important to take some time to properly care for your teeth and gums after eating or drinking sugary items. Taking preventive measures and maintaining good oral hygiene will help avoid early tooth decay and promote healthy gums.
Here are some quick tips to help prevent the Halloween sugar from building up on your teeth and gums:
- Using fluoride toothpaste, brush for two minutes, two times a day.
- If you are not already using one, switch to an electric toothbrush. These brushes remove significantly more plaque than manually brushing.
- To remove food debris and plaque that brushing alone can leave behind, make sure to floss at least once a day.
- After brushing, rinse your mouth with a fluoride-based mouthwash to decrease bacteria and strengthen tooth enamel.
You Can Still Enjoy Halloween With Braces This Year
As you can see, there are still a good number of things you can indulge in with braces this Halloween. Just be smart about what you are eating or drinking. By steering clear of the non-braces-friendly foods and drinks we mentioned above, you’ll prevent any additional trips to the orthodontist’s office.
If you have any questions about any other Halloween treats we may not have mentioned, the team at Cook & Gutsche Orthodontics in Springfield is here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. We want you and your children to have a happy Halloween!