Free candy season is finally here! Sure, October is full of lots of other stuff we love, like cool nights, cozy sweaters, and leaves changing color everywhere we look. But let’s be honest—for most of us here at Saddle Creek Orthodontics, it’s all about the costumes and candy. Every year around this time, we start hearing from nervous braces patients who are worried that treatment is going to put a damper on their Halloween plans. After all, there’s not much point in participating in trick-or-treating if you can’t enjoy all the candy you bring home, right? The good news is, you can have your candy and eat it too even if you’re wearing braces!
Before you get too deep into those buckets and bags, however, there are a few important points to keep in mind. While there’s plenty of sweet treats for you to enjoy as an orthodontic patient, there are some you definitely need to avoid as long as you’re in braces. Most of us are familiar with the ways sugary stuff can affect our dental health, but those warnings are even more important to heed when it comes to orthodontic appliances. To help you get the most out of your spooky season this year, let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of Halloween candy!
The Good 😁
Did you know that 90 million pounds of chocolate is sold during the week of Halloween? Luckily, this is one of the best candies for braces patients! Chocolate melts quickly and completely, so as long as it doesn’t contain nuts, you can dive right in to this part of your stash! Here are some other tasty treats Dr. Fagala is happy to sign off on.
Peanut butter cups
Chocolate and peanut butter in a familiar little package are perfectly fine to eat even with braces thanks to their smooth texture.
M&M’s and Reese’s Pieces
Although they have a hard shell, these tiny taste bombs get a thumbs up from orthodontists since the inside is soft and the exterior is easy to crunch through.
Oreos and other cookies
Snack packs with Oreos, Nutter Butters, and other cookies have become more popular in recent years with homes handing out treats on Halloween. This is good news for orthodontic patients, as any cookie without nuts or crunchy bits are A-OK for braces.
The Bad 😬
There are some types of candy you’ll have to avoid until we’re done straightening your teeth. Share them with family and friends instead and stick to the treats that are safe for your smile!
Worms, bears, whimsical shapes—whatever form they take, stay far away from gummies! They may be sweet, but they’re sticky, too. That can cause big problems for your brackets, wires, and bands! Miniscule pieces can also get into the nooks and crannies your braces create and provide a perfect breeding ground for bad bacteria.
Laffy Taffy and Now Or Laters
Give anything in the taffy family a hard pass while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Because they’re so chewy, they can easily bend or break your braces. This means extra visits to the office and can also set back your treatment plan, so be sure to avoid them at all costs.
Anything with nuts
Nuts are small and crunchy, two things we don’t love for braces wearers. They’re hard to chew, which means you’re at risk of loosening your wires and breaking your brackets. The tiny pieces can also get stuck in between your teeth and braces, increasing your risk of cavities, decay, and discomfort.
The Ugly 🤕
As bad as the above options are for orthodontic patient, there are some Halloween treats that can really wreak havoc on your braces! Keep these as far away from your smile as possible by giving them away or donating them to a wonderful organization like Operation Gratitude.
Lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, jaw breakers, the butterscotch candies your grandpa always has in his pocket—all of them get two thumbs down from orthodontists if you’re wearing braces! Not only do they dissolve slowly, exposing your teeth to an onslaught of sugar over a long period of time, but biting down on them can dislodge bands and damage wires.
Blow Pops are a double-whammy of no since they’re essentially a big ball of gum surrounded by a hard candy shell, but any chewing gum should be strictly avoided while you’re in braces. The incredibly sticky texture will glue itself to your brackets, and is basically the oral equivalent of getting gum stuck in your hair!
Run far away from any form of caramel if you’re a braces patient. That includes soft caramel, like Sugar Babies and plain caramel chews, as well as hard caramel, found in toffee treats like Heath bars. No candy apples, either! Caramel is like glue when you chew it and can lodge itself in your braces, your teeth, and in those hard-to-reach areas in between them. That means brushing is less effective and you’re more likely to end up with an influx of bacteria thanks to all that excess sugar.
Don’t end up with a scary smile this Halloween!
Here at Saddle Creek Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to creating healthy smiles for patients of all ages in our community. That’s why we want you to take extra care with your braces and teeth this Halloween! Enjoy the candy that’s orthodontist-approved in moderation, and remember to brush your teeth when you’re done. You can also pair your sugar binges with a big glass of water to help flush sugary debris out from around your braces, and don’t forget to floss every night.
As long as you’re careful and stick to the guidelines, wearing braces doesn’t have to take the fun out of your Halloween celebrations this year! If you still have questions about how to successfully navigate orthodontic treatment and trick-or-treating, get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk through all your concerns. Whatever you and your family are planning for this frightfully delightful holiday, we hope you stay safe, healthy, and happy!