Trick or treat! Choosing the right Halloween candy for your teeth
While the team at Prairie Grove Orthodontics recommends avoiding sugary, sticky foods that can damage orthodontic appliances and leave cavity-causing bacteria on your teeth, we understand that Halloween will likely be an exception.
If your little ghouls and goblins plan to go trick-or-treating this year, here are some tips to help them make the best possible candy choices, especially if they’re in the midst of orthodontic treatment.
Will you be handing out candy at your front door, or perhaps sampling your child’s Halloween stash after they fall asleep? (It’s practically a right of parenthood, so no judgment here!) These tips may be helpful for you as well.
A quick note about Invisalign® clear aligners
One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign® aligners – especially at Halloween time – is the fact that they’re removable. If you or your child are in the process of Invisalign® treatment, you can simply remove them before eating candy or other sugary foods.
Trick: Candy to avoid
If you or your child wear braces, we have good news: the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) confirms that enjoying candy while wearing braces is still an option. However, to avoid damaging your braces and extending your orthodontic treatment, the AAO recommends staying away from certain types of candy.
Candies that are hard or sticky are the worst choice for anyone with braces. Examples include:
- Lollipops (especially Blow Pops with gum in the center)
- Jolly Ranchers
- Milk Duds
- Chocolate bars that contain nuts (Snickers, Mounds, etc.)
- Sour Patch Kids
- Tootsie Rolls
- Sugar Daddies
- Swedish Fish
- Gummy bears or worms
Candies with shells (such as Skittles or M&Ms) should also be avoided, as the shell could get wedged under your wire or pop off your brackets. Other non-candy items that are popular at Halloween, like caramel popcorn or candied apples, can damage braces as well.
Treat: Safer candy for braces
Soft, melt-in-your-mouth candies are a far safer alternative, according to the AAO. They are also more likely to keep your braces intact.
Examples of braces-friendly candy include:
- Chocolate (without nuts or caramel)
- Hershey’s Kisses
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Kit Kat
- 3 Musketeers
- Peppermint patties
- Junior Mints
- Pixy Stix
- Cotton candy
Who says that your Halloween treat has to be candy? Soft cookies, snack cakes (such as Twinkies or Ding Dongs), cupcakes, muffins, brownies, and marshmallows are all excellent alternatives to traditional candy.
Don’t let sugar haunt your teeth
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that by the age of eight, over half of all children (52%) have had at least one cavity. Among adults age 20 or older, that number jumps to about 90%. Sugary foods and drinks are a major cause of cavities in both children and adults.
Whatever Halloween treats you or your child decide to indulge in, it’s critical to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly afterward. Otherwise, sugar can linger behind in your mouth, becoming plaque and acids that cause tooth decay.
When in doubt, just ask
Prairie Grove Orthodontics is here to guide you through every step of your orthodontic journey. Our expert team personalizes every detail of you or your child’s care to align with your unique needs and goals. The end result is a confident, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.
If you have questions about what to eat or drink, how to care for your braces or Invisalign® clear aligners, or anything else orthodontics-related, contact us anytime.
Schedule a free consultation today
Ready to learn more about orthodontic treatment? You’ve come to the right place! Prairie Grove Orthodontics gives you everything you need to move forward, all in one convenient visit.
Your free consultation will include:
- One-on-one time with a doctor
- Digital x-rays
- iTero® 3D model of your teeth and gums
- Personalized treatment plan
- Financial consultation
We look forward to meeting you and getting your smile transformation underway.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!