Did you know that October is National Orthodontic Health Month? Meanwhile many families are stocking up on sugar for trick-or-treaters and Halloween parties, and braces become the enemy to many kids (and adults!) who can’t have the same candy their friends are enjoying.
For dental health in general, no one should overdo the desserts, but Halloween seems particularly tricky to those with braces. Here at Hudson Orthodontics, we want to make the season less scary by not only explaining which treats to avoid but also sharing with your family some braces friendly snacks to help you stay in the Halloween spirit.
Candy that Kids with Braces Should Avoid
First let’s go over the candy that patients with braces should avoid unless they want a painfully sticky situation or an extra trip to the orthodontist to fix a broken wire or bracket. Sticky, chewy candy like taffy, caramels, gum and gummy bears can get stuck in your braces, prove very difficult to remove with cleaning and tug problematically on brackets, bands and wires.
Biting into hard candy, lollipops, candy containing nuts, candied apples, chocolate covered pretzels and peanut brittle can pop off brackets and break wires.
Anything high in sugar, like candy corn, can help bacteria breed in your mouth, producing acids that can discolor your teeth around your brackets, leaving a checkered pattern when your braces are removed. The same goes for citrus sweets, soft drinks and anything else highly acidic. Popcorn, including popcorn balls, should also be avoided, as its kernels and pieces can get lodged in your braces.
Braces Friendly Snacks for Halloween
With all of that said, there are still plenty of braces friendly snacks for ortho patients to enjoy during the Halloween season. Most of these suggestions still have sugar though, so remember moderation and brush your teeth soon after eating them to avoid tooth decay.
Soft sweets like peanut butter cups and plain chocolate candies that melt in your mouth are fairly safe for braces because they don’t require a lot of chewing. The usual braces friendly snacks like milkshakes, ice cream and fruit smoothies are also good options, especially if they’re served in a fun Halloween themed glass or bowl! Soft baked goods like pumpkin cake or pumpkin pie are also opportunities to keep the Halloween spirit without damaging your braces.
The American Association of Orthodontists has even compiled some ghoulishly good recipes to help those with braces enjoy the holiday as much as everyone else!
Candy Alternatives for Trick-or-Treaters
It might be more difficult for your kids to resist sneaking candy if you’re collecting it at your house to give out to other trick-or-treaters. An alternative is to skip the sugar altogether and hand out something else this year since you have an orthodontic patient in the family.
Consider filling your usual candy calderon with ghost stickers, temporary tattoos, spider rings, plastic fangs, glow sticks or bubbles.
Happy Halloween from Your Springfield Orthodontist
We know Halloween can be challenging for patients with braces, and sometimes kids and teens eat one piece of hard candy that they don’t think will be a big deal, and then comes the pop! If you do end up with a broken wire or a bracket that has come off of your teeth, don’t hesitate to come into our Springfield office and let us fix it for you.
Overall, we hope this post has helped you understand how important it is be mindful of your braces when making the rounds trick-or-treating. Never fear, you can still have a spooktacular time if you try out some of our braces friendly snack recommendations or candy alternatives. From all of us at Hudson Orthodontics, have a safe and fun-filled Halloween!