Don't Let Your Braces Spook You
Halloween is just around the corner. We all know what that means – fun costumes, fall festivals, and bowls full of candy! But what do you do when you’re trying to navigate all that Halloween candy with braces on your teeth?!
This particular holiday can often be source of anxiety for our braces patients and parents, especially with all those nuts, caramels, gummies, and other crunchy, sticky foods that tend to be tricks rather than treats (on the braces at least).
Although this can all sound scary, does it mean your ghoulish evening out has to be treat-free if you or your children have braces? Of course not!
Candy That’s Frightening – Eat At Your Own Risk
There is no greater enemy to braces than sticky candy! That means avoiding things like:
- Hard Candy
- Jelly Beans
- Candy Corn
- Chewy Candy
- Candy Apples
As yummy as these candies are, they can easily wreak havoc on your braces. And if your teeth are still tender from new orthodontic work, these types of treat can actually be painful for you to chew.
Speaking of, chewing on hard candy puts a huge amount of pressure on your braces, which can often lead to broken brackets and bent wires. And while popcorn might look safe and fluffy, those kernels love to launch sneak attacks to get caught in between teeth and cause uncomfortable inflammation.
At this point you might be feeling like navigating Halloween candy with braces is nothing but doom and gloom, but have no fear! We’re getting to the good stuff now.
Candy That Isn’t Creepy – Go Crazy Folks
Whether you’re the one handing out candy or helping your child find braces-friendly treats in their stash, anything that has soft chocolate is a great choice. This includes classic candies like:
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Kit Kats
- Plain M&M’s and Reese’s Pieces
- 3 Musketeers
- Hershey Bars & Hershey’s Kisses
Generally, any candy bar without caramel or nuts will be fine. Just remember to be careful with bigger sized candy bars—biting into the chocolate could damage the braces on your front teeth, so breaking larger bars into smaller pieces is a better idea. Luckily, Halloween is full of fun-sized bars!
As long as you pay careful attention to what treats you’re chomping on, Halloween candy with braces is definitely doable.
Halloween Candy With Braces Basics
Be sure that you don’t forget basic braces care in the excitement of Halloween! Continue taking extra care when brushing and flossing your teeth. Even if the only candy being eaten is braces-friendly, the increased amount of sugar hitting the teeth can still be detrimental.
Another great way to keep teeth clean is to pair a glass of water with any treat time. Not only is it more convenient than brushing your teeth five times a day, but the water will help to remove sugary debris from building up around your braces and hanging around on your teeth.
Practicing good oral care in general will help to prevent any cavities as you make your way through that giant bag of Halloween candy!
Create your own tasty treats
Speaking of having treats on hand at home, why not create a few handmade goodies to make up for any candy that can’t be eaten? We’ve added a couple of fangtastic recipes we love below, and as a bonus, they’re healthy as well as delicious!
Click Images To View Recipes
Donate unopened candy
As frustrating as it can be for kids to have to give up so much of their Halloween haul, you can easily turn it into a positive experience by donating any unopened candy. Doing something kind for others gives kids a sense of pride, and it’s a great way to put a smile on someone’s face! There are many charitable organizations that accept candy donations, including:
Operation Gratitude, which sends care packages to U.S. troops stationed overseas and to first responders here at home. Kids are encouraged to include letters and pictures with their donation. This can make the whole process even more special!
Soldiers’ Angels, who do a “Treats for Troops” event annually, and you can click here to find a donation drop-off point. The website even offers information on starting a drive of your own.
Ronald McDonald House, which provides a place for families to stay together when a child is seriously ill. Most locations accept donations of unopened Halloween candy for their resident families after Halloween, but you may want to call ahead to find out the rules for dropping off donations at the location nearest you.
If you’d rather keep things a little closer to home, check with your local shelters, food pantries, or nursing homes. Many are happy to take donations of unopened candy for residents and guests. At Lincoln Orthodontics, we typically hold a Candy Buy Back event where we will accept unopened candy in exchange for cash or rewards points. We then donate the candy we collect.