Halloween candy is what most children associate with October. Orthodontists are encouraged to embrace a beautiful, healthy smile in honor of National Orthodontic Health Month.
The American Association of Orthodontists has issued five timely reminders to your patients about how to protect braces, aligners, and other orthodontic “appliances” while also protecting teeth from decay.
- Keep your braces and aligners in good condition. Hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy candy and snacks should be avoided. Examples include caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubblegum (even sugarless), jellybeans, and soft drinks.
- Avoid hard treats such as hard-shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips, and popcorn (especially unpopped kernels). And, whether you’re in orthodontic treatment or not, we don’t recommend chewing ice.
- Revisit your memories! Brushing and flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season because sugary foods can cause cavities. After eating sugary or starchy foods, orthodontic patients should brush and floss their teeth thoroughly.
- The good news is that not all Halloween candy is strictly prohibited. Soft chocolates, peanut butter cups, and other melt-in-your-mouth treats work well as replacements.
- Attempt to improve your oral health. Avoiding hard and chewy sweets before Halloween increases your chances of success while decreasing your chances of breaking braces.