Halloween and its accompanying candy can be a scary time for teeth. October is National Orthodontic Health Month, celebrated by orthodontists throughout the U.S. The doctors at Pediatric Dental Specialists want to remind patients and the entire community that even though Halloween treats can play tricks on orthodontic treatment, there are a few quick tips to keep teeth safe from decay, and protect braces, orthodontic “appliances” during the Halloween season.
Stay away from hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy candy and snacks. These include hard or chewy candies, caramel, licorice, taffy, bubblegum (even the sugarless kind) and jelly beans.
2. CAREFUL WITH CRUNCHINESS
Patients want to steer away from hard-shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips and popcorn (especially unpopped kernels). And whether in orthodontic treatment or not, Dr. Planells says no one should ever chew ice.
3. NOT ALL HALLOWEEN CANDY IS OFF LIMITS.
Good alternatives include soft chocolates, peanut butter cups or other melt-in-your-mouth varieties. The American Association of Orthodontists even offers orthodontic-friendly recipes for Halloween on the website FamilyCorner.com
4. DON'T FORGET TO BRUSH AND FLOSS
Brushing and flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season, when teeth may receive more exposure to sweets that can cause cavities. Orthodontic patients should be especially conscientious about brushing and flossing after consuming sugary or starchy foods.
It is possible to enjoy some traditional candies at Halloween without causing problems with braces. Everyone really wants to have fun on this holiday, and we encourage patients to enjoy treats that are acceptable, rather than feel that they are missing out. It’s important to remember that when patients’ orthodontic treatment is complete, and they see their new smiles in the mirror, they will know all of their efforts now were worthwhile.