We will let you in on a little secret… orthodontists eat candy too! However, not all sugar is created equally. Before you gobble up all the sweet treats this Halloween, take a look at our expert tips on what to eat and what to avoid with braces. Your teeth will thank you!
Enjoy These Fang-tastic Treats
Keep it spooky with dark chocolate, which is by far the best candy option when it comes to your pearly whites! We love this indulgent treat for many reasons. It has less sugar than other chocolates and candies, and recent studies suggest there is a compound in cocoa that can actually fight plaque and help harden tooth enamel.
Reese’s Cups & Certain Candy Bars
It’s hard to Reese-ist a chocolate peanut butter cup, and the good news is you don’t have to! Peanut butter and chocolate both melt away fairly quickly and do not stick to your brackets, wires or gums. Chocolate can also easily be rinsed away with water, which is why it makes the top of our list! When it comes to goodies like Reese’s Pieces, 3 Musketeers and Kit Kats, feel free to treat yourself.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to wave goodbye to irresistible soft-baked cookies, muffins and cupcakes just because you have braces. Just steer clear of baked goods with gooey caramel, nuts, gummies or other chewy items baked into them.
Sugar-free gum and candies are good alternatives to regular sugary options. Sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth, so it’s easy to see why sugar-free snacks are certainly a great pick whether you’re wearing braces or not. Sugar-free gum is the only option for brackets!
Avoid These Tricky Treats
The stickier the candy, the worse the consequences will be if you’re wearing braces! Sticky candy attaches to your brackets, wires and teeth and can cause those brackets and wires to break…eek! Even scarier, your treatment time could be lengthened due to excess breakage.
Hard candies—including lollipops, Jolly Ranchers and Life Savers—are just a continued stream of sugar to your teeth! This amount of sugar, and the time it takes to dissolve it, can break down your teeth enamel. Speaking of break, many broken brackets have come from lollipops! Stay far, far away…they’ll end up being a real pain in the neck.
It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid chewy candies like Starbursts, Tootsie Rolls, bubble gum, jelly beans and Skittles while you have braces. These types of treats can get stuck in your braces, which causes some pulling and can lead to broken brackets.
Tips to Lessen the Damage
We know from personal experience that a “sweet tooth” can be very stubborn – especially at Halloween! If you fall victim to some of the tricky treats listed above, we’ve got a few tips to lessen the damage.
Eat your Halloween candy with your meals. Saliva production is increased which helps clean your mouth while causing candy particles and acid to have a more difficult time sticking to your teeth.
Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. This will help combat your Halloween candy damage, so drink up!
It is important to brush your teeth, especially after eating sugary Halloween candy. However, you should wait 30 minutes after eating. Brushing your teeth immediately can spread the acid from candy onto more teeth.
If you do break a bracket or a wire, call and let us know! The sooner we can get you in for a repair, the better!
Happy Halloween from Westrock Orthodontics!