That sweet tooth can be hard to deny on Halloween, but if you wear braces you have to steer clear of the candy that could ruin your brackets and wires. Adult and teen orthodontic patients approach October 31 with trepidation and, in many cases, determination to cheat just a little. No one wants to ruin your fun, just be cautious about the candy you choose to indulge in, so you don’t find yourself at the orthodontist for an emergency repair on November 1.
The Worst Candy for Braces
- Chewy candy: You know what falls into this category – Tootsie Rolls, Skittles, Starburst, Airheads, and any kind of taffy or gummy can bend or break your braces. Avoid these at all costs.
- Caramel: Caramel is chewy, but it deserves its own shout-out. Whether hard or soft caramel, whether eaten alone or in a chocolate bar, this sweet is bad for braces. It can get stuck in your brackets and tear them off.
- Hard candy: It may seem like sucking on a hard candy is innocuous, but that sweet stuff could stain the elastics of your braces. If you can’t help yourself and mindlessly bite down on a jawbreaker, you could bend a wire or break a bracket.
- Nuts: If you love your salty and sweet candy combos, try to refrain. Take one wrong bite of any candy bar with nuts and you could snap off a piece of your orthodontia. Just say no to Snickers, Almond Joy, Babe Ruth, Payday, and any other candy with nuts.
The Best Candy for Braces
- Solid chocolate: Any brand of pure, solid chocolate is the best kind of candy for your braces. It’s soft, melts quickly, and won’t do any damage to the hardware on your teeth. As long as the chocolate is nut- and caramel-free, this is one treat you can dig into.
- Peanut butter cups: If you just have to have that nutty flavor with your chocolate, stick to peanut butter cups. Both chocolate and peanut butter are soft and won’t wreak havoc on brackets and wires.
- Peppermint patties: Chocolate and soft mint are a sweet combo and usually given the green light by your orthodontist. Plus, they freshen your breath (though you’re still eating sugar and should brush afterward) and the mint is so strong it can minimize the temptation to want to dig into more sweets.
A Note to Invisalign Patients
If you wear Invisalign, consider yourself lucky. You can dig into just about any candy you want without any remorse or concern about what you might do to your braces. However, the rules of eating still apply:
- Always remove your trays before you eat any candy, even one tiny piece.
- Brush and floss your teeth before putting Invisalign back in place.
- Rinse your aligners when you remove them and clean them before snapping them on your teeth.
Protect Your Braces on Halloween
Whatever candy you just gotta have this Halloween, remember that nearly all candy contains sugar. And whether you wear braces or not, a sugar bath for your teeth is the worst thing you can do for your oral health. Stave off cavities by keeping the indulgences to a minimum and maintaining your brushing and flossing routine. And clean extra diligently around your braces after a candy-heavy Halloween.
Need more tips for keeping your braces safe on Halloween? Contact Dr. Roberts & Dr. de Marsche at Lawrenceville Orthodontists in NJ, to schedule your appointment.