Fall has officially arrived and at Carolina Oaks Orthodontics, we’re ready for the change of season and all of the fun it brings. Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner — but with social distancing measures still in effect, our favorite holidays are already looking different than any of us expected. The biggest bummer about social distancing in October? No trick or treating! We feel for all of our Upstate South Carolina orthodontic patients who will have to miss out on the fun this year.
But just because we have to celebrate Halloween from a distance doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate it at all! We can still dress up in costumes and indulge in all our favorite candies and chocolates. That said, if you have braces, you’ll have to follow a few simple Halloween candy rules. There are certain Halloween candies you need to avoid with braces to keep your hardware and teeth safe.
In honor of the ghoulish season, here are our top tricks for which Halloween treats are safe for braces and which candies you need to avoid.
What to Eat with Braces 101
First off, let’s do a little refresher on what foods are safe for braces and which are not. When you first get your braces put on (and after each time you get them adjusted), your teeth will be a little sensitive for a few days. To ease any discomfort, it’s best to stick with soft, cold foods that are easy to bite into. Think yogurt, smoothies, steamed veggies, soups, mashed potatoes, applesauce, peanut butter and yep, even ice cream.
Now for the not-so-fun part: foods to avoid with braces. Since your brackets cover a good portion of your teeth, they make it easy for food particles to get trapped in hard-to-reach places. So you’ll want to avoid anything that could get stuck, which means anything sticky, chewy or crunchy, or anything you have to bite into (like whole apples or corn on the cob). Hard foods, like hard candies, can also break or damage your brackets, so those will be off the table this year too.
Really, the most important thing to remember about eating with braces is that you need to brush and floss after every snack or meal. Those food particles that love to hide in and behind your brackets can lead to harmful plaque and bacteria build-up, which in turn can cause cavities and gum disease. So be sure to brush and floss extra carefully after you eat — especially after chowing down on Halloween candy!
Halloween Candies to Avoid with Braces
We might as well get this part over with and start with Halloween candies to avoid with braces. Basically, you just need to follow the rules outlined above and steer clear of anything hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy. We know it’s a bit of a downer, especially if candies like taffy or Jolly Ranchers are your favorite. But trust us, it’ll be totally worth it in the long run.
Here’s what not to eat with braces this Halloween:
- Tootsie Rolls
- Jolly Ranchers, or any other hard candies
- Candy with nuts like Snickers
- Sour Patch Kids
- Caramel apples and candy apples
- Other really hard, chewy or sticky candies and foods
Halloween Candy You Can Eat with Braces
We saved the best for last! Fortunately, there are many Halloween candies you can enjoy with braces. Choose soft treats that are easy to chew and melt in your mouth, like chocolate! And always, always, always make sure to brush your teeth afterwards.
Here are some safe Halloween candies for braces:
- Plain chocolate with no nuts, especially dark chocolate (less sugar!)
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Pixy Stix
- Sugar-free gummies and candies
- Kit Kat bars, as long as you break them into smaller pieces
- Hersey’s Kisses
- Ice cream
- Apple cider
- Homemade treats like soft cookies and cupcakes
From all of us at Carolina Oaks Orthodontics, we wish you a very Happy Halloween. However you’re choosing to celebrate this year, we want you to get the most out of the holiday, especially if you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. Still have questions about what candy is safe for braces? Need to book your next appointment? Contact your Upstate South Carolina orthodontists today.