Halloween is just around the corner, so you know what that means: your child will soon be awash in endless waves of deliciously sweet candy. Of course, things can be a bit more complicated if your little one has braces. There are many candies that can easily break brackets and bend wires, but fortunately, your children’s orthodontist in Newark, OH, can tell you about plenty of safe sweet treats that will keep them happy and their braces safe this holiday.
Can you say CHOCOLATE? That’s right, chocolates tend to be the safest candies for braces, as soft chocolate bars are very unlikely to cause any damage to your child’s braces. This means they can gobble up all the Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s Cups they desire (within reason, of course!). They should be more careful when biting into bigger bars, however. Stick to the fun-size chocolates or break the larger ones into smaller pieces before they take a bite, and be mindful of whether or not it has nuts!
Different kinds of cookies and crackers are fine as well as long as they aren’t overly hard. Hard cookies can easily “hurt” braces, so be sure your child gives them a nice long dip in milk to soften them up before taking a bite.
On the healthier side of things, apples are also a safe sweet treat as long as they are cut up into bite-size pieces. Biting into an entire candied/caramelized or even plain apple is very dangerous for braces, but this is all mitigated if you simply cut them up.
Treats to Avoid
The absolute number one thing your child should avoid this Halloween are sticky candies, and this includes items like caramels, gummies, taffy, Star Bursts, Tootsie Rolls, and many others. These candies can easily get very stuck in your child’s braces, exposing their teeth to even more unneeded sugar. Many of them are hard enough to break the appliance as well.
Hard candies are also a big no-no this holiday. Accidentally biting into them is an easy way to snap off a bracket! And, while popcorn might seem safe, it’s very common for a few sneaky un-popped kernels to get stuck in braces or even break them.
In fact, this advice is actually good to follow the entire time your child has braces to ensure you don’t have to make extra trips to the orthodontist to get things fixed!
A Few More Helpful Tricks
When you go trick-or-treating this year, your child will probably get some of these candies in their little bucket, but don’t despair– you won’t have to literally take candy from your baby.
If your child has a piece of candy that could damage their braces, simply try to trade it for one that won’t (you might have to stock up on some candy beforehand to do this!). Or, you can have them give the candy to their friends without braces, which is a great way to teach sharing and keep their smile safe.
With these simple guidelines, you and your child can fully get into the holiday, and you can have the peace of mind knowing that their braces will stay in one piece. Of course, whatever you end up doing, be sure to have your little one brush their teeth really well after having any sweets, as even “good” candies can lead to cavities!
With that, Dr. Jeff, Dr. Jen, and the entire team at Shirck Orthodontics wishes you and your family a happy and healthy Halloween! To get more tips on how to keep their braces safe year round, simply contact us today.