Halloween season is upon us and no matter how you plan to celebrate this year, we know there’s a good chance there will be some candy involved. However, if you’re one of our Naperville or Shorewood braces patients, you might be wondering: Can I eat candy with braces? The good news is, yes, there is Halloween candy you can eat with braces, though there are also certain kinds of candy you’ll want to steer clear of. In this post, we’ll be sharing:
- A general overview of eating with braces
- The Halloween candy to avoid with braces
- The best Halloween candy you CAN eat with braces
- Tips for a braces-friendly holiday
Eating With Braces
Before we dive into the topic of candy and braces, we’ll be covering the basics of eating with braces in general. When you first get your braces put on and, sometimes following adjustments, your teeth can be a little bit sensitive. No, you won’t feel any real braces pain but mild discomfort is normal. Any sensitivity will subside in a few days. During this period, it’s a good idea to stick with soft foods, as well as cold foods and drinks. Some great foods to eat with braces, especially during the first week of treatment, include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Steamed veggies
- Macaroni and cheese and other pasta
- Ripe fruit like bananas
- Ground meats like turkey and beef
- Milkshakes (do you ever really need an excuse?)
- Ice water
In addition to what to eat with braces, it’s also important to consider how to eat with braces. Never bite or tear into foods with your front teeth. Cut or break foods into bite-size pieces and chew with your back teeth.
Now, as far as what not to eat with braces, while you can still have most of the foods you love, there are a few things to avoid such as:
- Really hard foods like nuts, pizza crust, popcorn, Doritos, certain kinds of pretzels, hard taco shells, raw carrots and hard rolls
- Chewy foods including bagels and Slim JIms
- Sticky foods such as caramel and taffy
- Food you bite directly into like meat on the bone and whole, raw apples
These types of foods can break your braces brackets, bend your archwires or loosen bands. When your braces break, you’ll have to come in for a repair appointment and, if it happens often enough, it could even result in your treatment lasting longer than initially planned. While it can seem like a bummer that there are foods to avoid with braces, we promise, when you see how amazing your new smile looks, temporarily saying goodbye to popcorn will seem well worth it.
Halloween Candy to Avoid With Braces
Referring back to that list of what not to eat with braces, you can see that some popular candies definitely fall into the off-limits categories, which can lead to a damaged appliance. Here are some of the common types of Halloween candy to avoid with braces:
- Candy with nuts in it
- Now and Laters
- Jolly Ranchers
- Twizzlers and other licorice
- Mike & Ikes
- Candy apples
- Anything else really hard, chewy or sticky
Halloween Braces Safe Candy That You CAN Eat
Okay, now it’s time for the good news! Here are the kinds of Halloween braces safe candy you can eat:
- Hershey’s Bars or other plain chocolate bars without nuts (break into small pieces and chew with your back teeth or let it melt in your mouth)
- Hershey’s Kisses
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Peppermint Patties
- Three Musketeers
- Pixy Stix
- Kit Kat Bars (break into small pieces)
- Plain M&M’s
- Reese’s Pieces
In addition to candy, you can also have some Halloween favorites like:
- Apple cider
- Soft-baked cookies
- Cupcakes (these cobweb cupcakes are braces-friendly and adorable)
- Jell-O (creepy Jell-O brain, anyone?)
A Few Tips for a Braces-Safe Halloween Candy
As you can see certain types of candy and braces can live in harmony. Again, just be sure to break things like chocolate candy bars into small pieces and chew with your back teeth. When it comes to M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces, it’s a good idea to let them melt in your mouth a bit instead of eating them quickly and by the handful.
Since brackets and wires do trap food, and candy is filled with sugar, it’s best to eat candy with braces in moderation.
According to Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca this is because, “the bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and starches forming plaque, which then releases acids that can erode the tooth’s enamel causing cavities.” Your teeth will move most efficiently in a healthy oral environment and getting cavities will throw your treatment off track, so make sweets an occasional treat.
Additionally, after having Halloween candy, brush your teeth really well with a fluoride toothpaste. Give each individual tooth a little attention and clean around your brackets and wires. If you’re not at home and you forget your toothbrush, rinse your mouth out with water and brush as soon as you get home.
Now that you know all about the types of Halloween candy you can eat with braces, we hope everyone has a fantastic (and spooky) Halloween this year! And, speaking of treats, what about treating yourself or your child to a beautiful, healthy smile this fall? If you’re interested in finding the best orthodontist in Naperville or Shorewood, schedule a complimentary consultation at Innovative Orthodontic Centers today!