October 29, 2019
In your teens, there are three main ways to satisfy your sweet tooth during Halloween: pick from the candy bowl at home while also passing it out, take your little siblings trick-or-treating and then snag a few of your favorites, or go trick-or-treating with friends. The only problem is, you don’t want to break a bracket or wire on your braces, because that will only set your treatment timeline back, and you’re really looking forward to getting them off. It’s best to avoid certain types of candy that could damage or harm your braces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy any of the sweets or festivities. Read on to find out everything you need to know about taking care of your orthodontic appliance during the holidays.
Oral Tools For Braces
From October, all the way through January, you’ll most likely be munching on more sweets than usual. If you’re conscious about what you’re eating and keeping up with your thorough oral hygiene routine, you’ll be able to keep your braces in great condition and your mouth healthy. During these months, it’s especially important to thoroughly clear plaque off your teeth to limit the accumulation of harmful oral bacteria. Luckily, there are some special oral hygiene tools developed for people who wear braces that might come in handy, some of these include:
- An electric or manual toothbrush that’s specially designed to clean around brackets and wires.
- Fluoride toothpaste and antibacterial mouthwash.
- A floss threader to reach underneath the archwire of your braces.
- If you have difficulty flossing with braces, try getting a water flosser. They’re easy to use, and several clinical trials have been conducted that show they are more effective at removing food debris and plaque than regular floss.
- A proxabrush (interdental toothbrush) can help you remove food particles from under the archwires.
Candy To Avoid If You Have Braces
The pinnacle moment of Halloween for most teenagers and children is when they empty their pillowcase on their bed and start rummaging through their earnings. It can be hard for someone with braces, because they’ll have to divide it up into a pile that they can eat, and one that they can’t. It’s best to avoid eating anything that’s hard, sticky, gooey, chewy, and crunchy, such as:
- Crunchy chips
- Jawbreakers and other hard candies
- Sugar babies
- Candy corn
- Jolly Ranchers
- Popcorn balls
- Milk duds
- Laffy Taffy
- Caramels (hard and chewy ones)
- Beef jerky
- Swedish Fish
- Candies or caramel apples
Treats That Are Safe To Eat With Braces
With braces, you can enjoy softer sweets that will melt from your mouth naturally or are easy to chew and won’t stick to your teeth. These include:
- Soft chocolates
- Peanut butter cups
- Plain M&Ms
- Junior Mints
- Soft cookies
- Cheese puffs
- Apple cider
If you find yourself in a braces dilemma this holiday, don’t forget that your orthodontist is just a call away. It’s better to act quickly than to wait, because it could drastically impact your treatment timeline, and it’s understandable that the last thing you would want is to keep your braces on for an extra few months.
About the Author
Dr. Gary Cartwright has been beautifying smiles and fixing bite problems for over two decades in Southwestern Pennsylvania! He is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics and is also an active member of the American Association of Orthodontics. He understands the tempting struggles of holiday candy and treats, and strives to offer high-quality, judgement-free orthodontic care. If you find yourself with an orthodontic emergency or need help dislodging stuck food in your braces, visit Cartwright Orthodontics’ website or call 412-833-6188.
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