Spooky Treats to Avoid with Braces this Halloween - Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Spooky Treats to Avoid with Braces this Halloween

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braces and candy

Published on October 25, 2016, Updated on October 25, 2016

Halloween is just a few days away. With all the treats of the season, don’t be tricked into thinking that your braces are free to take a holiday from the rules.  While it may feel like a sacrifice to forego your favorite treats now, it isn’t forever–but your smile will be! Orthodontic treatment requires dedicated care of the orthodontic appliance through proper maintenance, good oral hygiene habits and good food choices. With the addition of brackets and wires to your mouth, food particles have more opportunities to get trapped. Trapped food particles trigger other dental issues if not removed quickly. Here is a friendly reminder of the do’s and don’ts of braces.  


Spooky Foods to Avoid

When you start to sort through your Halloween loot this year, or when you are at a party and trying to decide which sweets to grab and which to skip, make sure an eliminate those items that can damage your dental appliance. The biggest culprits to avoid are hard foods, sticky foods, and foods high in sugar.  Eating foods high in sugar also creates a breeding ground for cavities, especially while wearing braces. With braces, sugary foods can hide in many small places that are hard to reach and cause tooth decay. Removing sugar from your teeth with braces on is much more challenging than without braces.  To help you differentiate this Halloween season between safe foods and risky foods we have made the following list. Don’t get tricked this season!


Hard Foods that Should Spook You

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) advises that children with braces should avoid caramel, licorice, lollipops, bubblegum, popcorn, taffy, jelly beans and hard pretzels. Here is a complete list of foods that can harm your braces.

  • Hard candy (jolly ranchers, suckers)
  • Chewy candy (such as tootsie rolls, jelly beans, skittles, sour candies, starbursts, butterfingers, caramels, non-sugar free gum, taffy, now and laters, sugar babies, licorice, and toffee)
  • Nuts
  • Chips (yes, that includes Doritos and tortilla chips!)
  • Popcorn (especially caramel popcorn this time of year)
  • Ice
  • Corn on the cob
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Crusty bread (pizza crusts, bagels)


Treats with Less Tricks for Your Dental Appliance/Smile

We understand trick-or-treating is a popular tradition, and skipping all sweets can be hard to do. If you do decide to indulge a little on the 31st, we strongly encourage that you brush and floss between teeth immediately after consuming treats, around your brackets and right up to your gum line. Swish with water or a mouthrinse following. Also make sure that you still avoid the spooky treats listed above to avoid common problems.  We know that choosing to forego certain candies during orthodontic treatment may sometimes seem unbearable, but consider the alternative.  Hard-to-resist treats may help satisfy a sudden craving, but they can wreak havoc on your dental goals. This doesn’t mean that you have to forego sweet and sugars entirely during your time with braces.  Prepare braces-friendly treats before hand so you have a safe alternative when sweet cravings hit. The internet has several braces-friendly cookbooks you can consult.  Just make sure that following sugar intake you brush and floss immediately to safeguard your smile. Here are a list of safe sweets you can eat while you are wearing your braces:

  • Soft Chocolate
  • Peanut Butter Cups
  • Soft mints (peppermint patties)
  • Pudding, jello, yogurt
  • Ice Cream and smoothies
  • Cake
  • Donuts
  • Cookies
  • Pie
  • Candy Corn
  • Fruit


Perform Daily Self-Checks to Prevent Scares

We encourage our patients to please check their braces for bent or loose wires and brackets regularly so any problematic issues with their braces can be caught earlier rather than later.  If you discover a broken or loose wire, contact our staff immediately to set up an appointment to repair the issue.  Taking the time to do these daily self-checks when you brush your teeth will save you unnecessary discomfort, problems and time.


Call for More Information on Foods to Avoid with Braces

Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics wants to support you in your commitment to safeguarding your smile–especially your efforts during one of the most enticing holidays of the year. If you have any questions on appropriate treats or taking care of your braces give our office a call.  Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics can help you obtain a healthy, functional, attractive smile. To learn more about our treatments or to schedule an appointment, call our Erie office today at 720-887-6003.