With Halloween coming up, now is the perfect time for Dr. Brown and our staff at MB Orthodontics to remind patients which candy is safe to eat, and which candy will send you in for an extra appointment to repair damage to your braces!
Halloween can be an especially hard time to stick to the food restrictions necessary while under orthodontia treatment, but remember—this time with braces will not last forever.
We’ll start with the candy you need to avoid. And then, don’t worry—we’ll list some safe candies to enjoy, too!
Candies to Avoid with Braces:
In theory, hard candy should be fine because you can just suck on it. But realistically, most of us can’t resist the temptation to bite into it. Candy like Jolly Ranchers, Life Savers, suckers, jawbreakers, and other hard candies are extremely hard on your braces, breaking off your brackets and bending wires.
Which hard candy is the absolute worst? It has to be Blow Pops. Not only do you have the temptation to bite through that outer shell, but then bubble gum is waiting inside to stick to your braces.
Candy bars with nuts
These will also break brackets and bend wires. The damaging culprits include Almond Joy, Snickers, Hershey’s with Almonds, Babe Ruth, Payday, and other nutty candies.
Gummy bears, gummy worms, and sour patch kids are deceptively hard on your braces even though they’re easy to chew. These gummy candies can bend wires or get stuck in your brackets, which can eventually lead to loose brackets that break.
Another sticky and chewy candy to avoid with braces is taffy. Even though this candy is soft, it has a way of latching onto your braces.
Caramel in all forms, whether it’s caramel apples, a Snickers bar, or a caramel square, can wreak havoc on your braces. When caramel sticks to a bracket, there’s a high chance that you’ll remove the bracket in the process of getting the caramel unstuck. Sugar Babies, Sugar Daddies, toffee (like Heath and Skor)—are all bad for your braces.
Stay away from caramel apples and candy apples too.
Basically, any kind of chewy candy is off limits (for now!)
Starburst, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, Airheads, jelly beans, gumdrops, and licorice all have one thing in common: they can break or bend your braces.
Just stay away from all sticky, chewy candy while wearing braces!
Now the Good News! Candy & Other Sweets to Go Ahead and Enjoy:
If you have braces, choose chocolate. Chocolate candy bars (or Hershey’s Kisses) aren’t sticky so they won’t get stuck in your braces. Any brand of chocolate is okay: Hershey’s, Dove, plain M&Ms—any brand of basic chocolate is a safe choice.
Assorted Chocolate Bars
If you like a bit of crunch in your chocolate, good choices are Kit Kat or Nestle Crunch bars.
If you like sticky or fluffy candy, you can safely enjoy 3 Musketeers and Milky Way. The light caramel in Milky Way is soft enough that it shouldn’t create a problem.
If you love nuts, try peanut butter cups. The soft nature of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups won’t damage your braces and will give you a nutty fix without bending wires.
Soft cookies, cakes, cupcakes, brownies, cheesecakes, doughnuts, and other soft baked goods are fine for braces. While you have to be careful to avoid hard cookies, most baked goods are soft, making them braces-friendly.
Peppermint patties (including York and Junior Mints) are a good choice with braces. As with all candy, make sure you brush afterwards because these are loaded with sugar.
Sliced Apples with Caramel Sauce
Whole apples may be off limits with braces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat thinly-cut apple slices. And if you want caramel apples for Halloween, dip apple slices in light caramel dip. Melted caramel is unlikely to break a bracket if it’s soft and thinned-out enough.
What to Do with Unwanted Candy:
While it’s inevitable that you’ll get some off-limits candy if you trick-or-treat this year, there are some worthwhile things you can do with the “bad” candy.
1) Send it with mom or dad to work.
2) Take it up to our awesome Highland Village Police or Fire Departments. They’ll enjoy having it, and it can be a good way to show them appreciation.
3) There’s an organization called Operation Gratitude that will send candy to military troops. You’ll need to ship the candy to them, but they’ll take it from there. Just fill out this Donation Form and follow these instructions. They ask that Halloween candy be sent by mid-November.
4) Even easier, another great organization that will send your candy to our military troops is Soldiers’ Angels. If you would like to donate your Halloween candy to Soldiers’ Angels, there are two drop off places in our area, taking donations from November 1st through November 9th:
Highland Village Smile Studio
1401 Shoal Creek, #276 (The Shops of Highland Village)
Prestige Family Dentistry
4251 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound
972 539 2820
It’s as easy as that! Just bring your off-limits (or extra) candy to either of these dentists’ offices. (Call to make sure they’re open.) They will get the candy to Soldiers’ Angels who will then ship it to our military men and women in service.
At MB Orthodontics, we want you to enjoy Halloween. But we also want you to keep your braces safe and your teeth healthy at the same time! So enjoy trick-or-treating, eat the candy that’s safe, and then do something else with the bad stuff this year.
Remember, the food restrictions that come from wearing braces are temporary (and well-worth it!)