Halloween is quickly approaching and the team here at Hawley Orthodontics can’t wait to celebrate the spookiest day of the year! However, if you’re one of our Papillion braces patients, you might be wondering, “What candy can I eat with braces this Halloween?” Well, the good news is, even though there are some things that you’ll have to pass up, there are still plenty of treats you can enjoy. To help, we’re covering what you need to know about Halloween candy and braces.
The Basics of Eating With Braces
Before we get into the ins and outs of candy and braces, let’s do a quick refresher on what to eat with braces and the foods to avoid. When you first get your braces put on and following adjustments, your teeth can be a little sensitive. So you’ll probably want to stick with soft foods, as well as cold foods and drinks. Things like mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, soup, pasta, yogurt, smoothies, applesauce, fish sticks, ice cream, soft taco shells, French fries, peanut butter and popsicles are all great options.
As for what not to eat with braces, really hard, sticky or chewy foods and foods that you bite directly into (i.e., whole, raw apples) can damage your brackets and wires. Certain things like nuts and popcorn can also get caught in your hardware and cause inflammation. Foods to avoid with braces, include taffy, corn on the cob (off the cob is fine), hard taco shells, hard, chewy bagels, meat on the bone (take it off the bone) and hard candy. You can eat most things by cutting them into small, bite-sized pieces and chewing with your back teeth.
Since your braces tend to trap food, be sure to brush and floss regularly. Brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste in the morning, after meals and snacks, and before bed. Floss once daily as well. Because candy contains sugar, be extra diligent about brushing after diving into your Halloween candy haul. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches and release acids that eat away at the tooth enamel, which is the hard, outer coating on your pearly whites. Unless the plaque and acids are washed away, this process of breaking down the enamel can lead to cavities. If you won’t be at home on Halloween and you forget to bring a travel toothbrush, at least rinse your mouth really well after eating your candy and then brush as soon as you get back to your house. When you do brush, get around your brackets, brush along the gum line and give each individual tooth some attention.
Halloween Candy to Avoid With Braces
There is some Halloween candy to avoid with braces. While we know that can be a little bit of a bummer, it will be totally worth it when you see your fantastic new smile! You can still have an awesome Halloween with plenty of sweet treats but here’s what not to eat with braces:
- Candy with nuts like Snickers
- Hard candies, such as Jolly Ranchers and Lemonheads
- Sour Patch Kids
- Caramel apples and candy apples
- Other really hard, chewy or sticky candies and foods
Halloween Candy You Can Eat With Braces
Okay, now that we got the Halloween candy to avoid with braces out of the way, it’s time to move on to the good stuff! There are a lot of treats you can have when you’re in orthodontic treatment. Aim for candy that is soft or that will melt in your mouth and, again, be sure to brush your teeth after indulging. Here’s our favorite Halloween candy you can eat with braces, as well as some other festive options:
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Pixy Stix
- Kit Kat Bars (break them into small pieces)
- Three Musketeers
- Plain chocolate without nuts like a Hershey’s Bar
- Hershey’s Kisses
- Soft cookies without nuts
- Ice cream
- Apple cider
- Jell-O (here’s a recipe for a gross and creepy Jell-O brain that would be perfect for a Halloween party)
- Cupcakes (whip up some braces-friendly Halloween cupcakes)
Happy Halloween from the team at Hawley Orthodontics! If you have any questions about Halloween candy and braces or you’re ready to explore your options for getting a healthy, beautiful smile, contact our Papillion orthodontist Dr. Hawley at (402) 592-3200 or [email protected].