Happy Halloween from Straight Smiles! We love the spooky season as much as our patients — pumpkin carving, costumes and candy, oh my! (Yep, even dental professionals eat candy from time to time.) But if you’ve got braces, you might be wondering if there’s any braces-friendly candy. Well, we have good news: when it comes to enjoying Halloween treats with braces, we have a few tricks up our sleeves. Read on to learn more about what candy you can eat with braces and which treats you should avoid.
Recap: Foods to Avoid with Braces
Before we get to the good stuff, it’s important for braces wearers to understand what they can and cannot eat while they’re in treatment. A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything hard, crunchy, sticky, chewy or anything you have to bite into. That’s because these types of foods put your appliance (and even your teeth) at risk for damage.
Hard and crunchy foods, and food you have to bite into like corn on the cob or whole apples, can break your brackets or wires, setting back your treatment time. Sticky and chewy items can get stuck behind your hardware, making it more difficult to clean your teeth effectively. Plaque and bacteria love to hide behind brackets and wires, so if you can’t brush and floss away all that gunk, you’re putting yourself at higher risk for developing cavities or gum disease. So, keep in mind these foods and candies to avoid with braces:
- Hard foods: nuts, hard candies (like Jolly Ranchers), popcorn
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, chips, nuts, chocolate bars that contain nuts
- Sticky foods: chewing gum, caramels
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls or pizza crusts, licorice, Starbursts
- Foods you have to bite into: whole apples, whole carrots, corn-on-the-cob
Some of the above foods, such as pizza crusts and apples, can be safe if you cut them into small, bite-sized pieces. In general, use your common sense and if you’re questioning whether a certain food is safe for braces or not, err on the side of caution!
Braces-Friendly Halloween Candy
So, that brings us to the question on everyone’s minds: what Halloween candy can you eat with braces? We totally get that it’s fun to indulge in your favourite treats at this time of year, but we also have to make your orthodontic treatment our top priority (hey, that’s our job!). Fortunately, by sticking to the rules we outlined above, you’ll still be able to enjoy candy this Halloween with a few modifications.
As for candies that are safe for braces, there’s plenty on the table! Here’s what you can enjoy without worrying about damaging your braces:
- Chocolate: Chocolate that’s free from anything crunchy or chewy (think nuts, caramel or toffee) is safe for people with braces. While dark chocolate is the healthiest type of chocolate, it’s also harder, so it’s best to stick to milk and white chocolate. Try Hersey’s milk chocolate bars or 3 Musketeers for a deliciously chocolatey braces-friendly treat.
- Ice cream: Sure, this isn’t a typical trick-or-treat item but we think it’s worth mentioning. Ice cream is a 100% braces safe treat, as long as you avoid anything with caramel or nuts.
- Fruit: Most kiddos aren’t super excited to receive an apple in their trick-or-treating bag but when you jazz it up by dipping in melted chocolate, it can be a tasty (and healthy) Halloween treat alternative. Make sure to cut apples up into bite-sized pieces and absolutely avoid candy apples.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: We saved the best for last! Braces wearers don’t have to give up everyone’s all-time fave Halloween candy. There’s nothing but soft, peanut butter goodness inside so you can chow down without concern. On that note, Reese’s Pieces are also good to go.
Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Halloween
Now that you know what you can and cannot eat this Halloween, we’ve got some extra tips to keep your teeth, gums and braces happy. As we mentioned, food likes to creep into all the nooks and crannies between your brackets and wires, and sugar is especially sneaky. Make sure you floss and brush your teeth carefully after you’re done enjoying your candy to prevent cavities.
If you’re still not sure what Halloween candies you should avoid with braces or you need to book your next appointment with Dr. James Scramstad, you know where to find us. Contact Straight Smiles today.