October 15, 2021

Your Candy Survival Guide for a Boo-tiful Halloween

Halloween is around the corner! For all the trick-or-treaters out there, it’s time to get in the Halloween spirit and start daydreaming about all the candy you’ll eat on October 31st.

What’s more exciting for children and teens than the neighbors giving away free candy?! I mean really..

At the end of the night, your bag (or your child’s) will be filled with an array of different Halloween candy, and you can’t necessarily control what you’ll receive. Trick-or-treaters can’t be choosers, right?

Halloween is equally exciting for braces-wearers and non-braces-wearers. It’s true that if you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces, you may have to make some trade deals with your friends in order to maximize your braces-friendly snack arsenal.

This gives you a chance to branch out this year and try some different Halloween candy! Fortunately, there are just as many braces-friendly candies as there are braces-unfriendly candies.

Let’s dive into the different candies you should avoid this Halloween—and the ones that you’re free to splurge on.

Worst Candy for Braces

We’ll deliver the bad news first. These are the candies you should try to avoid with braces:

  1. Hard candies: Biting into a jawbreaker, Jolly Rancher, Runt or Life Saver could land you right in our exam chair with a broken bracket or loose wire. Not only can some hard candies damage your braces, but they can also damage your teeth! Be extra careful with hard Halloween candy and avoid it as much as possible.
  2. Sticky candies: Those sticky candies that require some serious chewing – you know the ones – should be donated to your friends’ bags this Halloween. A Laffy Taffy, Starburst, Now & Later or caramel-filled candy can stick to your brackets and wires, get lodged between your teeth and braces, or pull a wire loose while you’re chewing.
  3. Nuts: Snickers, peanut M&M’s, PayDay, Peanut Brittle, and chocolate-covered almonds unfortunately come with some risks when you have braces. Nuts are infamous for getting stuck in wires and stuck between teeth. Similar to hard candy, biting down on a nut can disrupt your treatment and require a replacement bracket.

If you saw your favorite candy (or your child’s favorite candy) on that list, we send our deepest condolences. Take a moment to grieve, then prepare yourself for an even longer list of braces-approved Halloween candy!

Best Candy for Braces

  1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Hershey’s chocolate bars
  3. Hershey’s kisses
  4. Three Musketeers
  5. Ice cream
  6. Ice cream sandwiches
  7. Soft cookies without nuts: Sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies
  8. Cupcakes
  9. Kit Kat bars
  10. Milky Way
  11. Jelly beans

There are tons of different candies out there. If you aren’t sure whether your favorite candy is a braces-friendly snack, we encourage you to reach out to us or ask us at your next check-in appointment.

Halloween & Oral Hygiene

Halloween and oral hygiene have a lot to do with each other—no matter if you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment or not. Emergency orthodontist appointments aside, candy can do more damage to your smile than you may realize!

It’s no secret that candy can have a harrowing effect on our oral and dental health. It’s not the sugar that directly affects our dental health; it’s more of an indirect effect.

Our mouths are home to over 6 billion bacteria at any time. While a lot of these bacteria are considered good bacteria, and they won’t harm you, there are some bad bacteria just waiting for a chance to grow.

When sugar comes in contact with these bad bacteria, this creates acid in the mouth. The mouth becomes an acidic environment, meaning the pH of saliva drops below 5.5. – the normal pH range for saliva is 6.2 to 7.6.

When the pH levels in your mouth dip, this increased acidity starts to break down the protective enamel on your teeth and places you at a higher risk of developing cavities (tooth decay).

A cavity is essentially a bacterial infection created by the sugar-induced acids in the mouth. Cavities that are left untreated will progress, creating a hole in the tooth and leaving the teeth more susceptible to further infection.

We know this isn’t what you want to hear when you’ve been looking forward to splurging on Halloween candy all year, but it’s important that you understand the cause behind dental damage, so you can prevent it as best as possible.

We’re not advising that you don’t eat any candy this Halloween – c’mon, we’re far more practical than that. We just want to help you make the best decisions in order to prevent harmful effects that can derail you from your treatment, or even worse, require a dental repair.

After you enjoy a handful of candies, take a break! Go rinse your mouth out with water, brush your teeth and floss your teeth. Rinsing your mouth out and cleaning your teeth can prevent the sugars from creating a highly-acidic environment in your mouth.

The longer you leave sugar on your teeth, the more damage it does. Stay cautious and stay festive! It’s possible to do both!

Happy (almost) Halloween from your favorite orthodontists at Just for Grins. If you have any questions about acceptable candies or you have a question about your child’s treatment, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love hearing from you.

We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment – and every holiday that falls in between.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Montgomery, Millbrook or Wetumpka, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.

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