Halloween is such a fun time of the year! But, it is one of the highest candy consumption days in America, too. While you should enjoy frightful or ghoulish costumes, avoid the terrors of broken brackets. Read on to learn which classic candies are tricks or treats for your braces! And, read our orthodontists’ top tips for post-Halloween dental care and braces hygiene.
Tricks: The worst candies for orthodontic treatment
Hard candy: This includes JOLLY RANCHERs, Werther’s Original, hard LIFE SAVERS, or anything that could potentially break an appliance when chewed. Even just sucking on these candies will cover your teeth in a thick layer of sugar that can get trapped under the braces and lead to plaque buildup and cavities.
Taffy or chewy candy: Think LaffyTaffy or Tootsie Rolls—these candies are notorious for getting stuck in braces (and taking their time getting out). You should avoid chocolate with caramel fillings or nuts (bye-bye SNICKERS®!). Caramel can easily slip between brackets and loosen them. Then, you’ll have to be on the way to the orthodontist the next morning!
Crunchy or nutty candy: Turtles, ALMOND JOY, and Peanut M&M’S may be tasty, but they also put you at risk of breaking a wire or popping off a bracket while you chew them.
Acidic candies: SKITTLES, STARBURST, and sour gummy worms are all sweets to avoid. Not only are their chewy textures treacherous for those with braces, but their intense flavoring means they contain a high level of acid, which can break down enamel.
Treats: Better candy options for braces
Nougat-filled chocolate bars: 3 MUSKETEERS is the best example of this—nougat has a lighter texture than other fillings and washes away from appliances.
Wafers: Although they are crunchy, wafer candies, like KitKats, don’t tend to get stuck in teeth or braces and aren’t hard enough to damage your braces.
Peanut butter cups: Can you think of a better duo than chocolate and peanut butter? These are a fan-favorite option, as they are soft on the teeth and don’t have little pieces that get stuck in braces.
Plain chocolate: Think HERSHEY’S KISSES or bars! This classic treat melts in the mouth and can be brushed off of braces easily.
Peppermint patties: Here’s another option that’s soft on braces and teeth! Plus, it will even leave you with minty-fresh breath (but don’t think about using minty candy as a substitute for great oral hygiene!).
After you’ve seen all the tricks and have had your share of treats, what is next? We advise you to brush and floss after you indulge in your candy buffet. This ensures that there isn’t any residue stuck between brackets or on teeth. Gargling or swishing with water before brushing and flossing help loosen food particles for an even cleaner mouth. Remember: any candy can cause cavities if not brushed away, so be sure to always clean your teeth and braces after indulging in a snack!
These are the tricks and treats of Halloween that will help keep your braces clean and your smile bright. Have fun, be safe, and don’t forget to floss! Learn more on our blog.
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