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Child with Braces? Here’s Your Halloween Sweets Guide

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jack-o-lantern with braces

For most parents, the biggest concern they have regarding Halloween is worrying that their child will get cavities or develop a tummy ache because of all the candy their little ghoul or goblin will eat after a fruitful night of trick-or-treating. However, if your child has braces, you’re likely more afraid of something in their haul breaking or damaging their appliance. Thankfully, this quick guide will cover which items your child should enjoy and avoid this scarily fun season.

Treats That Should Scare Braces

The following candies are delicious, but they can spell big trouble for children with braces, so if you find them in your child’s bag or bucket, you should definitely make them disappear:

  • Caramel: Whether as a standalone candy or part of a bar, caramel is pretty much kryptonite for braces, as it can easily become stuck to brackets and twisted around wires. Trying to remove it can also result in accidental breakage as well!
  • Hard Candies: Hard candies are meant to sit in the mouth for a long time, but children often try to bite into them, which can easily dislodge a bracket or bend a wire.
  • Popcorn: A common party snack, while most popcorn is light on the added sugar found in most candies, the problem is that it’s easy for unpopped kernels to “sneak” into a bite and cause all sorts of trouble, from broken brackets to bent wires.

Treats That Are Best Friends with Braces

Here are the items your child can eat without causing any problems for their braces. Pro tip: If your child ends up with any of the candies listed above, make sure you have a reserve of the following candies so you can swap them out. That way, you are “trading” candy with your child rather than just taking it away. A few braces-friendly treats include:

  • Pure Chocolate: Chocolate bars (specifically those without nuts or caramel) are easy to chew and melt quickly, so they never spell trouble for braces.
  • Soft Cookies/Baked Goods: Chewy, fresh-baked cookies are orthodontist-approved! Just make sure your child avoids harder cookies like gingerbread.
  • Peanut Butter Cups: Chocolate and peanut butter were made for each other, but they also go great with braces! Their soft texture means your child can dig in without you having to fret about their braces.

By going over these guidelines with your child before they trick-or-treat or attend Halloween parties, you can stay relaxed while they have fun with friends and classmates. And, if you have a strategic candy reserve, there will likely be leftovers for you as well!

About the Author

As a board-certified orthodontist and father of 3, Dr. Jeffrey Shirck knows firsthand how Halloween can worry parents whose children are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Thankfully, he’s always happy to offer real-world advice to ensure that a patient’s journey toward their new smile doesn’t involve forgoing fun events. To get more tips for this Halloween, or to schedule a FREE in-person consultation at Shirk Orthodontics, click here.