Halloween And Braces: A Candy Catastrophe?

  • October 15, 2015

If you or one of your children wears braces it could seem like the joys of Halloween are a thing of the past. No chewy candies, chocolates, or sweet treats at all! While we always encourage good eating habits we can also understand that Halloween candy is a great tradition that kids should be able to indulge in (responsibly, of course)!

At Donaldson 3D Orthodontics we believe that good dental habits at home don’t mean a complete prohibition on sugar – let your children enjoy their trick-or-treating bounty in a safe, braces-responsible way this Halloween!

Make Sure They Know Which Treats Are Safe

There are definitely some candies that are incompatible with braces. Chewy stuff, sticky candy, and anything that could cause damages to brackets or wires are a definite no-go. But that doesn’t mean all the candy is out of bounds!

  • Chocolate: most all chocolates are safe as long as they don’t contain chewy, sticky stuff at the center. Plain chocolate bars, peanut butter cups, and anything that doesn’t contain hard-to-chew nuts or nougat are probably fine. Here’s a tip though: break them up first or at least don’t try to take a huge bite out of a big bar. That can still damage braces!
  • Cookies are safe! You can tell your kids to go get ‘em!
  • Hard candies can be okay, but only if your children know to NEVER CHEW ON THEM! Sucking on Jolly Rancher is fine but crunching it to pieces is a dangerous idea.
  • Soft, sugary candy like candy corn is okay too. It might not be the tastiest of Halloween treats but it pretty much dissolves without a trace!

That list might not look too long because honestly, it isn’t. There are a lot of dangerous candies out there that can seriously hurt you child’s braces and teeth and not a whole lot that play fair!

  • Chewy candies are off limits. That means no gummy worms, no taffy, StarBursts, nougat, caramel, or any of that good stuff. Our advice: sneak it out of their baskets when they aren’t looking – kidding!
  • Hard candy needs to be mentioned here too. If your child is the kind of kid who likes to just suck on a hard candy that’s fine but the temptation to bite down can be pretty hard to resist!
    Bubble gum is out! If it gets stuck in braces it can do some serious damage!
  • Small candy like skittles and M&Ms are known to get between braces and teeth. They’re the perfect size to squeeze between, and then POP! Off go the rubber bands and the wire! That’s an emergency trip that can definitely ruin a fun night out.

We could go on and on naming each individual candy that’s a danger to braces but we also think you can judge for yourself and your child what’s safe and not!

Helping Your Child Enjoy Halloween

It’s pretty easy for a young kid to get bummed out about having braces on Halloween. We recommend doing whatever you can to help make their trick-or-treating experience a good one. Our best suggestion is to plan a “candy swap” with them!

If you’re in a neighborhood that gives out treats to trick-or-treaters buy candy that is safe for your child to eat, and make sure you get a little extra. At the end of the night you can offer to trade them all the stuff they can’t eat for safe stuff. That gives you peace of mind that they’ll have a safe snacking experience and also gives them the feeling that they didn’t miss out!

If they have a sibling you can also encourage trading between them or their friends. Everyone has a favorite candy that they’ll gladly swap for!

Halloween Doesn’t Mean Oral Hygiene Is Out!

You should still make sure you enforce good oral hygiene on your braces wearer. Make sure that they drink plenty of water to wash away sugar and candy that might gets stuck. They should also be sure to brush their teeth after eating candy, but make sure they wait a half hour! Sugar softens enamel and brushing before the acid attack ends can cause serious damage!

It’s always a good idea to make sure we see your child after Halloween. We can check for any damage that might have occurred to their braces as well as making sure their teeth stayed healthy! If you would like to get more tips for safe trick-or-treating or schedule an appointment at our New Iberia or Broussard locations just give us a call!

You can reach Donaldson 3D Orthodontics at 337-465-4139 or you can request an appointment right here online! We look forward to seeing you soon!

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